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Le Tour in Britain

London is the fastest growing cycling community in Europe. One who can be at least partially credited for that is mayor Ken Livingstone, who's decision to charge car drivers going into the inner city has made people look for alternative transportation. Now the biggest bike race in the world will embark from Hyde Park with the prologue this Saturday, which should give an additional boost.

The most famous Tour rider of the British Islands is no doubt Tom Simpson, sadly so for leaving his life on the slopes of the Mount Ventoux due to doping in the 1967 Tour, reports AFP.

This always overshadowed other great accomplishments, reports the Volkskrant, such as the twelve Tour participations of Barry Hoban. In the 80's it was Scotsman Robert Millar, who lit up the mountain stages, taking three of them. This was also the times of super-domestique Sean Yates, who was known as the best descender in his time, even acknowledged by Miguel Indurain, who himself wasn't a wimp when the roads pointed downwards. Yates also was known as a great time trialer, winning the Wasquehals time trial in 1988.

Chris Boardman then came on the scene, even faster than Yates in the race against the clock and won three Yellow Jerseys in the 1994, 1997 and 1998 prologues. Then it was David Millar, also known for his time trial ability and taking the prologue in the 2000 edition before being sidelined for two years following his admission to doping.

David Millar is now back, stating he is riding clean and will tackle the prologue Saturday on home soil. Bradley Wiggins is another British rider hoping to win the yellow jersey. He recently won the prologue of the Dauphiné Libéré.

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