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After a huge build up, cyclist Bradley Wiggins was finally announced as BBC Sports Personality of the Year this week. The Olympic Gold Medallist and winner of the Tour de France beat off stiff competition from the likes of Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah to scoop the publicly voted accolade. Wiggins'

escapades in the saddle have already been said to have inspired more of the nation to take up cycling with leading retailers announcing major increases in bike sales already. If you've been hit by the 'Wiggins Effect' then here is a round-up of some of the world's most memorable and challenging cycling routes.

Tenerife

The island where Bradley Wiggins carried out much of his training can't possibly be omitted from this list. Tenerife is packed with quiet, well maintained roads and stunning landscapes with everything from coastlines to mountain passes and volcanoes. Plan your own route or choose from local dedicated cycling tour specialists.

Germany

Though to some cycling is everything, others might want a little more to maintain their interest along the way. If you fancy catching a little culture and history as you pedal then a cycle tour following the path of the River Elbe could be for you. En route discover castles and World Heritage sites among the diversions as you take a break from pounding the pedals.

Canada

Canada has more than its fair share of breathtaking scenery and, with a population of just 33million despite being the world's second largest country, many of the roads are low on traffic and high on scenic value.

Canada's Cape Breton Island is a cyclists Mecca. With unspoiled scenery and incredible local wildlife, this part of Canada has much to discover on two wheels. Tour the coastline and make the challenging ascent up gentle inclines which give way to steep mountainous routes.

U.S.A.

There are of course many thousands of routes to explore in the U.S.A. from stunning New England autumnal rides to the banks of the Mississippi. One of the highlights though is a well hidden journey in Montana. Explore almost 25 kilometres of disused railway nestled in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana. This popular route is family friendly and incredibly scenic as well as practical - a shuttle bus collects cyclists several times a day.

New Zealand

New Zealand is positively brimming with picture postcard views and fantastical landscapes to explore. Though camper van is the transport of choice for many, cycling offers the opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds rather closer to nature. Christchurch in New Zealand is home to the Molesworth Road which offers a gruelling 320 kilometre route to challenge even the most dedicated cyclist. At least five days filled with ups and downs and more stunning views than you can shake a stick at and you will have completed the ride of your life.

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