By David Owen

Halfords is reaping the benefits of the phenomenal raise in interest in cycling in BritainNovember 8 - The stunning recent success of Britain's road and track cyclists had a knock-on effect on the high street this summer, with retailer Halfords declaring cycling its "standout performer" over the six months to late September.

Publishing financial results incorporating a 14 per cent advance in like-for-like cycling revenues, the well-known automotive, cycling and leisure products retailer highlighted "successive wins for British competitors at major sporting events" which, it said, had "maintained the UK's significant interest in cycling".

It went on: "Halfords took advantage of both this and what was undoubtedly better weather."

Cycling accounted for more than a third of the Halfords retail arm's first-half sales of £424 million ($678 million/€508 million) and more than half of online retail sales.

Cycle repair was said to be a key focus, with first-half sales ahead 27.7 per cent.

The success of British riders like Tour de France winner Chris Froome is persuading people to go and invest in bikesThe unprecedented success of riders like Chris Froome, the second consecutive Briton to win the Tour de France, is persuading people to go and invest in bikes

The group, which operates more than 450 stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland and employs some 12,000 people, has exclusive UK distribution rights for the "premium-ranged" Boardman cycles and accessories, named after Olympic gold medallist and former British cycling team technical adviser Chris Boardman.

It said that a "high-specification" carbon-fibre Boardman road bike, priced under £1,000 ($1,600/€1,200), sold well in the period; a new Pendleton machine was also launched "alongside the great success of the Somersby".

Offers included 10 per cent off all road bikes during the Tour de France, won by Chris Froome, the second-consecutive British winner.

The group also partners with Re-Cycle, a charity which sends reconditioned bikes to Africa.