Once in a lifetime: Watching the Olympics Road Race, Live

photo courtesy of Steephill.tv

The British and world media may have been talking about London 2012 non-stop for the past year but the men’s Olympic Road Race did not disappoint. I was lucky enough to be on the race-making Straw Belle Slope on Box Hill with my brother @SteamyWynndows and saw some fantastic racing as well as humongous crowds.

Having been to the Tour de France recently and knowing how well the French and ASO organise the event with military precision, I was slightly worried (read petrified) at how the British organisers and LOCOG would mess up the race organisation and logistics. The ASO have had years of experience at putting on their largest event and although we have a superb set up in this country for the Tour of Britain and the criterium series, The Halfords Tour Series, I had a sneaking suspicion that the Olympic powers-that-be may not have bothered to consult any of these event organisers for advice and just do what they thought was necessary. For once I will admit it… hold on to your hats people… I was wonderfully wrong. Enjoy that, you won’t be getting another admission like that!

The view up the hill with my flag in full flutter

Team GB and Tony Martin lead the way for the peloton

The race circuit was well thought out, but we already knew that. I dash out of London into the Surrey Hills and then 9 laps of an undulating course with Box Hill thrown in the mix in the middle. Let’s be truthful here, Box Hill is not difficult. I can climb it at not a bad rate but clearly not at Pro speed! It was never going to decimate the field (although a fair few ‘lesser’ cycling nations felt the pace and fell off the back on the hill repeats) but having 9 laps of it defined the race and meant that teams (or just Team GB) would have to chase. The race route also took in some large but picturesque towns heading back to London before finishing in front Buckingham Palace. Already I’ve heard a few non-cycling friends (yes I have them!) say how beautiful the Surrey hills area looked and I’m pleased we got to see more than just an inner London crit circuit.

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