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Rio Olympics help Halfords strike gold

By Holly Williams

The success of Britain's cycling heroes at the Rio Olympics has helped retailer Halfords get bike sales back on track.

The firm notched up a 12.5% surge in bike sales in the seven weeks to August 19 as Olympians Sir Bradley Wiggins, Laura Trott and Jason Kenny brought home a clutch of gold medals.

The car parts to bicycles chain said sales were also boosted by good weather, a promotional push and a "stellar" line-up of ranges launched by past and present Olympians Trott, Sir Bradley, Chris Boardman and Victoria Pendleton.

The bounceback left overall like-for-like bike sales 1.9% higher in the first 20 weeks of its financial year and marked a sharp reversal of the 4% fall seen in the 13 weeks to July 1, when it was hit by wet weather and the timing of Easter.

The company said it did not break down sales into regions, but that the Carrera Parva men's hybrid bike, costing £160, was the best-selling model across the country.

And the Apollo Jewel was the best-selling women's bike, costing £129.

The results come after a resurgent performance following a dire summer last year for the group, when bike sales tumbled in the peak selling season.

Halfords chief executive Jill McDonald hailed a "fantastic" Olympics for Britain's cycling team.

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