The Day the Olympics came to Town (Part Two)
I had seen the Olympic Team Road Race in person on Saturday and watched the women's race on television and seen Lizzy Armitstead win Team GB's first medal - a Silver. To say I had gotten a taste for the Olympics was an understatement. The TV was on constantly, a change of coverage from the usual CBBCs normally playing. Unfortunately though it was now the working week and watching the Olympics didn't necessarily fit in well with this.
By chance I needed to attend a meeting in Sevenoaks. On Wednesday. The day of the Time Trial. The cogs in my head started working ovetime. Sevenoaks wasn't very far away from the farthest point of the Time Trial route, which by my reckoning was Cobham. About 30 miles. I could get there after the meeting and watch the men's race and be back for a conference call. Perfection!
And that's exactly what happened. I drove to Cobham and parked up about half a mile outside of town. I had agreed to meet Swazy there who had managed to get the day off and had watched the women's event an hour before. They went past very quickly he reported, when I eventually found him. It looked like most of the town had come out to see what this time trialling was all about. The atmosphere was similar to The Mall only on a smaller scale. We hung around for a while, chatting to random people, patiently waiting for the first rider to pass.
About 25 minutes after the first rider had started he came no view. First came a moot bike, then the support car and then the rider, in quick succession. Swazy was right, they were motoring. Infact it was quite difficult to get a clear photographic shot of them. So to cover all bases I decided to take as many as I could. That should cover it. The riders came thick and fast. I didn't know that many of the initial competitors but it was exciting just to be there experiencing another Olympic event. The tension was building in the crowd. We all wanted to see Froome and Wiggins race by. They had set off 7th and 2nd from last accordingly.
They call the Time Trial 'The Race of Truth'. It's just the rider verses the clock. It's Wiggins' signature event. It was geting exciting, even though all we saw were the riders for the briefest of moments. First we saw Chris Froome.
We were counting the riders down and sure enough Froome came into sight. At the time he passed us he was in third place. He would hang onto this position until he finished. The crowd erupted as he round through town. It must have been amazing to hear, thousands of people cheering and clapping you round the course. By the time Bradley came not view, the crowd was going crazy. Everyone was screaming and shouting. I was cheering and trying to take photos. He roared into view and within a few seconds he had vanished round the top bend. As well as his support vehicle he was being followed by the TV motorbike. It was clear who the viewers wanted to see. Cancellera competed the procession, but he was someway back from Wiggins. And that's how it stayed. By the time Wiggins finished he was 42 seconds ahead of Tony Martin the silver medalist and about 80 seconds ahead of his GB team mate Chris Froome. What a wonderful way to win a Gold medal. Tour de France and Olympic Time Trial Gold medal. Not bad going all.
I had been lucky enough to see a piece of cycling domination by a British rider and as Wiggins said himself it doesn't get any better than winning Gold at your home Games. I was really pleased I had made the effort and gotten myself to see it. I wished I had applied to see more events - being in the Velodrome would be amazing........the Olympics were turning out to be something special. As for Wiggins, how will he top this? I guess we'll have to wait and see. Bodes well for a repeat performance in France next year though.......
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