Rider vs bike: which makes the biggest difference?

by Matt de Neef

What advantages do highly sophisticated racing machines give the cycling pros? To find out The Guardian newspaper in the UK put a journalist on a £6,000 Tour de France bicycle against elite national-level rider Iain Cook on a variety of less advanced machines, including a Dutch shopping bike and a London hire bike. Who will win? Peter Walker reports from Herne Hill Velodrome in south London.