Bradley Wiggins wrote his name in the history books with his superb performance in the road cycling time trial on Wednesday in South West London - and I was there to see it.
It’s not every day that you get to see a true sporting legend in the flesh and not every day that you get to see a national hero lift the spirits of a nation in your country’s home Olympic Games with a special gold medal performance. And all of that for free.
Setting off from Richmond an hour or so before the event got underway, we’d clinically calculated our way around the road closures and anticipated a few busy hot spots, parking up smoothly just a short walk from the entrance to Bushy Park.
Many of our fellow spectators had followed LOCOG’s suggestions of cycling or walking to the event but our knowledge of the local area meant taking the car was in fact - surprisingly - a help rather than a hindrance.
Britain’s cycling buzz was more than evident with thousands of cyclists parking their bikes up along the route to catch their piece of the action – and the atmosphere was steadily building as the competition got underway.
The spot we picked was only a few kilometres from the end of the course so we knew we could see all the riders pushing it to the limit as the event neared its conclusion.
We were not disappointed as the world’s best cyclists sped past one by one – eventual bronze medallist Chris Froome and superstar Wiggins coming through towards the end of the trial to massive, elated cheers from the crowd.
Fortunately one of the spectators next to us had a radio turned up to full volume, informing us all when Wiggins’ gold had been confirmed at Hampton Court. The crowd’s reaction was one of pure joy as the Tour de France winner clinched the medal which made him the most decorated British Olympian of all time.
Sports personality of the year? Put your house on it.
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