IT maybe going too far to suggest that this country leads the world in cycling.

But it is certainly in the Premier League and this position was cemented with the winning of the Tour de France by Geraint Thomas.

This made the sixth win in the last seven years by Team Sky riders in this most famous of all bike races and all by Brits - well sort of, as Chris Froome rides with the union flag on his back but hails from Kenya.

Watching the great continental cycle races, it is easy to reflect on what a wonderful area Ludlow and south Shropshire as well as Tenbury and the Teme Valley would be for a major race.

Surely some kind of major race will come to our area before too long.

There is no single reason for the success of Team Sky. They have good riders but there are others just as talented with other teams but the difference with Sky is that it is the best funded and the most professional.

People who do not follow sport generally failed to appreciate just how much cycling is a team sport and collectively Team Sky has by a very long way the best team.

A good team with people working together to deliver a common goal is a very powerful force.

It is this idea that played a big part in the success of ‘Team Ludlow’ in securing concessions from Shropshire Council when it came to parking charges.

For more than a year, traders, the Chamber of Commerce, Town Council, Shropshire Councillors, the MP Philip Dunne and residents fought the fight.

They articulated their case and pressed ahead through situations in which it might have been thought that the battle had been lost.

Like all good teams, Ludlow kept working hard until the final whistle and it was at the eleventh hour that Shropshire Council made its concessions.

This all goes to show that public pressure really can make a difference. It is so easy to think that there is no point in lobbying because those in authority never listen.

What happened in Ludlow show that those in power can be made to listen.

The town did not get everything that it wanted and concerns remain about aspects of the new parking scheme that is due to come into force in November.

Parking will be expensive for a small market town and there is still great concern about turning the car park in the centre of town from short stay to long stay. The effective ending of the ability for people to stop and nip into a shop is also a big worry.

But not getting everything that Ludlow had wanted still allows for a celebratory drink of some great local beer or cider even if opening a bottle of fine wine might just be going a bit too far.