Monthly Archives: July 2012

28/7/12 – Olympic men’s road race at Abinger

The A25 at Abinger Hammer at about 11.15am

First came the motorbikes – dozens of them, riders waving. Then the police cars, official vehicles – BMWs galore – and more motorbikes. By the Kingfisher Farm Shop at Abinger Hammer, and opposite the village shop, by the Tillingbourne stream, hundreds of locals crowded the roadside.

These guys pedalled over from Farnham

We perched on a wall, having arrived sedately by bike from Peaslake, a couple of miles away. A man nearby was picking up live reports on his smartphone and announcing the latest. An official vehicle equipped with a loud-hailer cruised by, confirming his news that there were four minutes between the leaders and the next bunch.

My friends Alex and Rebecca with our vehicles

“How does the race work? Is it timed?” a woman asked a pair of cheery, lycra-clad road-bikers who had pedalled over from Farnham with a picnic. First past the post, they explained patiently.

Finally, at 11.25am, they came. So quickly I hardly clocked them. Four minutes later, as promised, a second batch passed.

At last, some action. But which GB-er is it?

This time, we caught sight of the Team GB suits but failed to spot those all-important side burns that belong to both Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins.

Then they were gone – and along came dozens more Beamers, who looked like they were having their own road race at least as hairy as the two-wheeled one. Then minibuses full of press – and it was over.

A few would be motor-racers were at these wheels

As they pedalled on to do nine circuits of Box Hill – where Mark & co are closing on the pacemakers as I write – we stocked up on chutney and sausages at the farm shop before meandering home.

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