So after my morning disaster I trotted down hoping to catch the back end of the women’s support race and, of course, managed to miss it. I did get there in time to watch the Bob Chicken London GP where London Dynamo had plenty of riders showing well for what felt like a home fixture.
Sadly we didn’t have as many as, or the ability to organise like, Malcolm Elliott’s Plowman Craven team, who made sure that when he got away in the break he stayed away. They blocked and boxed our man, Warrick Spence, and there was no way he could get across. Still it was good to see our bunch of club riders doing battle with a proper team like Plowman Craven who, as I understand it, are able to focus much more on racing than holding down a day job.
The main event itself was a spectacular race for largely the wrong reasons for the press – the much talked about accident involving motorcycle outriders on the finishing straight was right in front of a large wedge of the crowd and certainly did nothing to allay fears about standards of security and safety on the part of the organisers. It has been quite widely discussed on various forums so I shall leave you to read reports elsewhere and decide for yourself.
My impression overall was that it was all a bit parochial – the pro teams lined things out and ensured that their riders stayed out of trouble near the front while the British riders tried to get in among them. The Bike Fest and general on-course entertainment included a military marching band and David Duffield’s incessant and uninformative droning, none of which was to my taste.
Boonen’s lead out train turned up and his win seemed all too easy, even if Hammond and Cavendish were the next across the line and not far off his wheel. As it’s late and I haven’t really reflected properly I’ll save it all for another time and leave you with a picture.