If any of you live the SW london area you’d be hard pressed not to notice that we just had the biggest Olympics trial event and biggest cycle race in the UK (this year) last weekend. Since it was only coming a mile past the house it was too good an opportunity to miss seeing world class cyclists.
In order to get all the arrangements in order for the full Olympics road race next year a trial event was organised. The London-Surrey Classic. It was using the full route; from central London, via South West London, out to Dorking, laps of the Box Hill loop and back up to Central London, but with only 2 Box Hill loops instead of the 9 in the full Olympic RR. A full international quality field entered and it was the biggest opportunity for UK domestic pros to race in the UK a high quality field.
So big race, big event, on our doorstep. It would be rude not to go. I met up with Jem, Gill, Dave and Cathy at 8:45am on Sunday morning and we rode out of a deserted Fetcham up to Norbury park (saying hello to a few leisure cyclists) and down to the bridge at the Mickleham bends.
When we got there at about 9:15am. It was deserted and we had the strange experience of riding south bound along the A25 north bound dual carriageway. Cycling was taking over the roads!
We soon released that to see the RR the maximum number of times we would have to ride down to the Burford bridge roundabout. See them pass in the bunch, ride back to Mickleham bend, see them again and finally ride to the Young Street roundabout to see them the last time.
When we got to Burford Bridge there were only a few people there. Jem (you star) broke out the tea and we had about 45mins to wait before the breakaways arrived. Although the impressive number of police cars (marked / unmarked) and police motorbikes, even police chopper, surprised everyone. More than the Tour de France!
The bunch and the team cars swept past in a blur and we rode up the south bound A25!
When we got to Mickleham the crowds were a little bigger but there was still space at the barriers and again we had a great view of the breakaways led by Kristin House (Rapha Condor) and the fast closing bunch.
Jem was definitely showing the most organisation since on the back of his MTB was strapped a folding ladder platform. With him, Gill and Cathy all on it they had a great view.
Soon we were on the move again and we headed up to the Young Str roundabout to see the bunch for a final time. I headed up a little way towards Leatherhead and got a fine view of the disintergrating road race. The breakaway had broken up, the bunch split and it was every rider in their own race as Cavendish’s team mates drove the bunch for a sprint finish. We even saw riders giving each others hand slings.
It was a great social event. We met plenty of other Moles and other roadies that we knew.
Then it was just a mile ride home. It was one of the shortest and most colourful rides of the year. I even got home to hear Cavendish win in central London.
I’m sure it will be far busier next year but hopefully the outcome will be the same!