FolkestoneJack's Tracks

London-Surrey Classic

Posted in England, London by folkestonejack on August 14, 2011

The London-Surrey classic, a test event for the olympic road race next year, took place today and as one of the biggest one day races in the UK in recent years I couldn’t miss the opportunity to go out and support the British riders.

The riders in the London-Surrey Classic pass Buckingham Palace on their way to Surrey

I had originally hoped to get down to Box Hill to stand on the hillside to watch the riders loop round but restrictions put in place by LOCOG have heavily fortified the hillside with security fencing so I took the easier option of a spot opposite Buckingham Palace.

It’s rather sad that the issue of Box Hill has cast a shadow over the preparations for the event, when instead we could have been talking about how amazing it would be to fill the hillsides with passionate supporters. The issues are fairly neatly summarised by the Independent on Sunday in the article Cycling fans barred from summit of the London 2012 Road Race and there are some pictures of the somewhat ridiculous fortifications in the Cycling Weekly magazine article Box Hill set for the London Surrey Cycle Classic.

Anyway, enough of that… I found myself a good spot with half an hour to go before the start of the race and soaked up the wonderful atmosphere. I might only have seen the riders for a few seconds as they headed out to Surrey but that didn’t matter, it was just great to be there and see such great support for cycling in Britain. After the riders passed I relied on Twitter for race updates (there wasn’t any live TV coverage) and eventually heard the fantastic news that Mark Cavendish had taken victory on the Mall. I hope we can celebrate the same result in 12 months time…

Postscript: There is an interesting assessment of how the test event worked on the Cycling Weekly website at Olympic test event: the report card which makes for interesting reading – especially the list of comments.

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