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65% rise in people cycling to work in Cardiff

The number of people cycling to work in Cardiff rose by 65% between 2001 and 2011, Census figures show.

The figures showed the average commute was taking longer Credit: PA

The numbers cycling to work in Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield all increased by more than 80%

The figures also showed that the numbers cycling to work declined in more than half (202 out of 348) of local authorities across England and Wales since 2001.

Merthyr Tydfil came bottom of the list, with 0.3% of its working population travelling to work by bike.

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Geraint Thomas takes Paris-Nice lead

Geraint Thomas has taken the overall lead at the first major European stage race of the UCI World Tour season, Paris-Nice.

The Cardiff-born rider finished the day's fourth stage in second place behind Dutch Garmin Sharp rider Tom-Jelte Slagter to take the overall lead ahead of Germany's John Degenkolb by three seconds.

Geraint Thomas pictured in 2013 Credit: Press Association

Thomas's Team Sky rode from the front of the peloton throughout the closing 40km before the reigning Olympic track champion broke free of the lead group alongside Slagter, the pair holding on to fight out a sprint finish.

The ride means Thomas holds the slim overall lead at the halfway stage of the race and adds further to his reputation as a Grand Tour General Classification contender of the future.

Welsh cyclists compete in World Track Championships

The Championships get underway today Credit: ITV News

The 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships start in Cali, Colombia today.

Welsh riders Becky James, Owain Doull, Elinor Barker and Sam Harrison are all taking part in the competition, which runs until Sunday.

Unlike the Olympic Games the World Championships features a full programme of events including:

•Sprint

•Team sprint

•Individual pursuit

•Team pursuit

•Madison (men only)

•Scratch race

•Points race

•Omnium

•Keirin

•Time trial

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Ice queen claims world first in South Pole cycle

Maria Leijerstam beat two male rivals in the race to claim a world first. Credit: Ryan Edy

An adventurer from the Vale of Glamorgan has achieved a world first by cycling to the South Pole from the edge of the continent in just 10 days. Maria Leijerstam managed the feat this Friday morning following a gruelling 500 mile ride in "vicious" conditions.

The 35-year-old set off from the Novo Russian air force base on December 16 and went head to head against two other male riders. Her team said at one point the sweat on the inside of her boots froze and she heated her freeze-dried food by melting snow on a small stove inside her wind blasted tent.

Maria described the Antartica as vicious but beautiful in her winning journey. Credit: Ryan Edy

However, the former management consultant dug deep and pedalled her way into the record books while on a customised recumbent bike PolarCycle. Ms Leijerstam's mother Adrianne said her daughter's success was due to "meticulous planning, super fitness and pure determination".

Before setting out on her journey the extreme cyclist said: "I've had to get my body prepared for burning fat and not carbohydrates, so I've been training for two to three hours on an empty stomach which teaches my body to become more efficient."

South Pole cycle record within sight

Maria Leijerstam is hoping to become the first person in the world to cycle to the South Pole from the edge of Antarctica. Credit: Ryan Edy

It's Christmas Day but for Maria it means another hard day of cycling.

She's cycled 81km per day. On a continent where it never gets dark she has spent as little time as possible sleeping and maximum time she can cycling.

Maria is determined to reach the South Pole within the next three days.

In her blog yesterday she described the Antartica as vicious but beautiful.

You can follow Maria's journey here.

Welsh adventurer leads in South Pole cycle title

Maria is hoping to become the first person in the world to cycle to the South Pole from the edge of Antarctica. Credit: Ryan Edy

Welsh adventurer Maria Leijerstam is well ahead of her two male rivals in the race to claim a world first cycle title this Christmas.

Although Maria, 35, from the Vale of Glamorgan started days later and took a different route to the South Pole from the edge of the continent, her average of 40 km per day is putting her well in the running for a first.

Maria battling temperatures of up to minus 40 degrees celcius Credit: Ryan Edy

With over 45kg of food and fuel, Maria started her journey started on 17th December.

After the first 80km she spent two days cycling up the Leverett glacier against very strong wind.

Fresh snow is making the task difficult and increasing the drag but she is continuing to travel 40-60 km per day.

She will spend both Christmas day and New Years day cycling in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees with the aim of reaching the South Pole by 7th January 2014.

You can follow Maria's journey here.

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