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CYCLING

Veteran Rast wins sixth Tour de Suisse stage

Swiss rider Gregory Rast won the sixth stage of the Tour of Switzerland cycling race on Thursday as fellow countryman Mathias Frank retained the leader's yellow jersey.

Veteran Rast wins sixth Tour de Suisse stage
Mathias Frank (in yellow jersey) remains in overall lead. Photo: RadioShack Leopard Trek

Veteran Swiss Rast powered clear of Mathew Hayman, Alexander Kolobnev and Bert Grabsch over the final kilometre after the quartet had stayed out in front for much of the 186.1-kilometre ride from Leuggern to Meilen.

"This is such a big win for me," said a delighted Rast.

"This stage is close to my home and I know these roads very well," the RadioShack-Leopard team rider said.

"I've tried (for) 10 years to win a stage here and today I finally made it," he said.

"I'm really, really happy."

Rast acknowledged the going was tough.

"There was no real sprinter in our group, just strong guys with motivation to win."

With Rast riding hard and out of sight, Australia's Hayman pipped Kolobnev for second place while Grabsch, who had earlier made several failed attempts to escape the leading group, rounded out the top four.

The four riders were never challenged after breaking clear of the peloton 30 kilometres into the stage with the pack eventually crossing line almost 11 minutes off the pace.

In the overall standings, Frank, of Switzerland, remains 23sec ahead of Czech Roman Kreuziger, with last year's champion Rui Da Costa of Portugal in third at 35 seconds.

Friday's seventh stage, a 206-kilometre route from Meilen to La Punt, features four categorized climbs, including the HC Albula Pass just before the finish, a climb that peaks at 2,315 metres.

The Tour de Suisse wraps up on Sunday.

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CYCLING

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021

Demand for bicycles has soared in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, but conversely the global supply is at record low levels, with consumers having to wait months or over a year for their bike of choice.

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021
Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay

Bikes are projected to outsell cars in Europe by two to one by 2030.   

But 2021 will not be an easy year to buy a bike in many European countries, especially if you have a particular model in mind. 

Firstly, there's been a huge surge in demand for bikes during the pandemic, as Europeans looked for ways to stay fit and move around more freely without having to worry about being exposed to Covid-19 on public transport.

On the flip side, bike production in China, which supplies almost the entire global market, has practically ground to a halt.

The same can be said for bicycle accessories and components, which are either not being produced in Chinese factories currently or held up for months in ports in Asia due to the reduction of capacity in shipping.

 

In this short report, video producer Alex Dunham explores the issue of Europe's bike shortage in 2021.

 

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