George’s fantastic day at the Tour of Britain
Junior member George Pittock enjoyed a fantastic day at the final stages of the Friends Life Tour of Britain in London on Sunday
At the beginning of the week he was looking forward to travelling up to London on the train with his family to watch the race, as they did last year, but that all changed on Tuesday afternoon when his father received an e-mail confirming that he and a guest (naturally it was George!) had been selected, through a competition on the event website, to ride the 8.8km (5.5 mile) course between the time trial stage in the morning and the circuit race in the afternoon.
George watched Sir Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky and Great Britain win the time trial before getting himself and his bike ready for his own ride. It wasn’t advertised as a race, but with 700 amateur cyclists given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride on closed roads through Central London from Whitehall along the Embankment to the Tower of London and back past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, it inevitably became a race. George was relaxed as he took his place on the start line and stayed with the lead group for 4km (2.5 miles), hitting a top speed of 57 kph (36 mph) through the road tunnel under Blackfriars Bridge, before dropping off and settling into a slower group. He completed three laps of the course in the time allowed (the pros did 10 laps later in the afternoon), a total distance of 25.1km (15.7 miles) in 45 mins 31 secs at an average speed of 33.1 kph or 20.7 mph.
“That was one of the best things I have ever done” said George, not knowing that his day was about to get even better!
George and his family bumped into some friends, purely by chance and unaware that they were at the event, who were enjoying a corporate hospitality package. They got to meet some of the riders and other celebrities and were enjoying good food and wine and looking forward to being driven around the course during the race in one of the sponsors’ cars. They had a spare seat in the car and offered it to George.
George experienced the fourth of 10 laps from the car, hitting speeds of up to 60 mph as the peloton chased the breakaway group, and listened to the team radios as they passed information to their riders about who was where and who was doing wha
A huge smile spread across George’s face as he rejoined his family close to the finish line for the second half of the race, which was won by Marcel Kittel of Giant Shimano and Germany who beat Mark Cavendish of Omega Pharma Quick-Step and Great Britain in a dramatic sprint finish. Sir Bradley Wiggins finished in the main group to finish third overall behind winner Dylan Van Baarle of Garmin Sharp and the Netherlands and Michal Kwiatkowski of Omega Pharma Quick-Step and Poland.
George is pictured on his ride and also with Kristian House of the Rapha Condor JLT team, former National Road Race Champion, ITV pundit and 76th overall in this year’s Friends Life Tour of Britain, together with some pictures from the event itself.
An unforgettable day!
Post added by Colin Robinson