Individual Time TrialsPosted: June 23, 2013
Not many of the 2012 Olympic events were free, so when the route for the cycling Individual Time Trial event was released, there was great excitement. The course would start and finish at the impressive Hampton Court Palace and the route would take the cyclists through the streets of south-west London. Roads were closed and bunting went up in homes and offices along the route. What a buzz!
From my temporary home during the Games, the ‘Hersham Hilton’, we strolled down to where the crowds were gathering at the end of the road and took in the Olympic vibe as we waited for the cyclists to start ‘flying’ past us.
Legend has it that a nineteen year old, James Moore from Suffolk, won the first bicycle race in Paris in 1868. But the first Olympic Road Cycling event was only introduced at the 1896 Games. The 87km race started and finished in Athens. A hundred and thirty years later the Olympic movement allowed professional cyclists to enter the completion for the first time at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Spain’s Miguel Indurain, who had won the Tour de France five times at that stage already, won the inaugural Individual Time Trial event. Since then road cycling has been an exciting addition to the Olympics and always features high profile cyclists that have achieved great things inside and outside of the Olympics.
In true style, the route was beautifully decorated. The Olympics had come to the suburbs for more of London to enjoy. Everywhere we turned we felt we were right in the heart of the Games and the atmosphere was alive with anticipation!
Another very special Olympic afternoon!