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Published 19 July 2012 05:00, Updated 18 October 2012 00:51
Racing: Australian success in the Tour de France has powered cycle sales Getty Images
Winter is a low time for bicycle sales but the annual Tour de France is giving the Australian industry a welcome, if unseasonal, boost.
“June’s quiet for retail but when the July Tour comes, there’s this little fillip to retail in the middle of winter,” says Retail Cycle Traders Australia executive officer Graham Bradshaw .
“Tour time is absolutely the busiest time of the year for us,” says Josh Fitzpatrick , the head of operations for bikeexchange.com.au, a website that lists the prices for bikes and accessories of 350 retailers across the country.
The victory of Australian Cadel Evans last year, created even greater interest.
“Last year, with Cadel performing so well, the tour frenzy took over the whole country,” Fitzpatrick says. “We saw really strong growth through the month and literally overnight, when he won, the traffic just went through the roof.”
With Evans so far this year holding down a minor placing, his likely affect on overall sales will be weaker. Hopes may turn instead to Australian rival Matt Goss , the leader of the Green Edge team and a candidate for the best sprinter’s green jersey. If Goss can pull it off, Australian bicycle retailers will feel every bit the winner again.
The Tour’s effect on local sales arguably would be greater, in value terms at least, if the new-season stock for which retailers make space in the autumn, came in by the time of the Tour in July. “We get some stuff now, but it’s more entry-level [product] at this time of year,” a Specialized spokesman, Matt O’Connor, says.
“It’s from September onwards that we see the same kind of stuff we see in the tour hitting the shelves.”
Even then, there is no guarantee.
“If it’s a great cycling season in the northern hemisphere, Australia has to wait for its stock. We are at the end of the supply chain,” Bradshaw says.