Hmm, but for rather different reasons. A long feature article in today's Guardian tracks the recent history of Raleigh and is full of dark forebodings. However, across in the Independent on Sunday, Giant is getting some much more positive coverage as the paper's assistant editor has started a series on his Giant-inspired attempt to ride one of the stages of this year's L'Etape du Tour, the mini Tour de France for keen amateurs

Nottingham bike companies make big splashes in national newspapers

The Raleigh article in The Guardian is by author Matt Seaton and paints a grim picture of the industrial decline of a former giant.…/0,3604,712967,00.html

The Giant mentions in the Independent on Sunday are somewhat more uplifting. Giant challenged Simon O’Hagan – an assistant editor on the Independent on Sunday and keen cyclist – to ride L’Etape du Tour, one of the public stages of the Tour de France. With his acceptance he agreed to run a series of articles, the first of which appeared in last Sunday’s Independent on Sunday will culminate on the 27th July, after the event.

The forty-something mid-life crisis candidate took on the Giant challenge thanks to the loan of a TCR2 road bike.

Ian Beasant, marketing director for Giant Bicycles UK, said:

"The lack of media coverage of the Tour de France last year was very disappointing and rather than complaining about it we decided to use our resources to generate some mainstream coverage ourselves."

L’Etape du Tour is open to members of the public quick enough to subscribe for a place (this year’s event was sold out within a week of its launch). The stage O’Hagan will be riding is an 88 miles jaunt over the Alps three days before the pros arrive on the 25th July.

The articles appear in the Independent on Sunday’s Sportsactive section.

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