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PortalPower#4: BIKEmagic.com

This is the best funded of the UK bicycle portals, backed with $1.4m of seed capital. It has eschewed commerce but offers plenty of community and content. Its also got an excellent chopped-down database of 900 IBDs, many with websites for consumers to link in to.

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Portal Power #3: Madforsport.com

Its billed as the ultimate network for active outdoor sports. It has received funding of £4m (one of the last start-up sport dot.coms to benefit from venture capital over-optimism?) and it will create the UKs biggest web-based network of destination sites for active outdoor sport enthusiasts, including mountain bikers. How many portals will still be around in two years? The low-budget, non-enthusiast ones will survive, what about the big spenders?

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Wal-Mart comes out of the closet

According to a report in yesterdays Guardian, the American owner of Asda is to open four standalone Wal-Marts this year. Unlike Asda, US Wal-Marts major on non-grocery items. Wal-Mart is Americas biggest retailer of bicycles (including quality mid-market bikes from Mongoose)

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