It was amazing and awesome to go to the velodrome where I am working towards my track accreditation and see so many of my cycling heroes race. When we looked at the programme the first thing we saw was Wiggo (Sir Bradley Wiggins) on the cover, and then from the list of events and racers we worked out that we would see Danielle Khan (she is from Solihull and I have ridden at events organised by her old cycling club), Laura Trott, Shanaze Reade, Ed Clancy, Jason Kenny, Philip Hindes, and, best of all, Cav! We were going to see the final events of the Omnium, the Keirin and the Madison.
Mark Cavendish was there riding the Omnium, and even better, he was going to ride in the Madison with Wiggo for the first time since the Beijing Olympics. WOWSER!
We had really good seats just two or three rows from the track. Trying to photograph the cyclists was not easy as they flew round the track so fast. Luckily the programme had the list of riders and their numbers so we could usually work out who was who as they whizzed past us.
We could see cyclists come out of the centre through the ‘D’ to start their races. When I go to my track sessions we use the ‘D’ to collect our bikes, warm up, eat our snacks, and wait for our turn on the track. Basically just like the professionals but with a lot less people, and no big camera crews.
The blue area in front of the ‘D’ is called the ‘Safety’ and is where the coaches seemed to collect (the light blue area is the ‘Cote d’Azure’ and is where you start riding on the track). The coach in the dark t-shirt with a beard in the photo below coached Daddy when he started his training to be a Track Coach. This is where the coaches for my training sessions stand too. When we are riding we start by holding the bar round the safety and then push with our pedals. The more experienced track riders can start by holding the ‘Fence’ at the top of the track and then they can start fast or drop down the banking to give their start a boost.
In this photo Mark Cavendish is waiting in the starting block for the Omnium time trial; no-one at my training sessions has used a starting block yet. He came second in the Time Trial,had a bad start in the Flying Lap and second in Omnium overall. Apparently he hopes to be our entry for the Omnium at Rio but he will have to beat Ed Clancy first as we can only send one rider for each event.
Ed Clancy (Olympic Bronze Medallist in the Omnium in 2012) being congratulated on winning one of the Omnium events.
Ed Clancy waited for the Points Race to start by leaning on ‘The Fence’ in front of our seats and talked to a lady in the front row.
Laura Trott won the Women’s Omnium to loud cheers from the crowd and us. It was brilliant to watch her race. I liked watching her moving around the track in the Points Race.
In this photo Bradley Wiggins is speeding past us during the Madison just after a handsling from Mark Cavendish.
Seeing Cav and Wiggo together was fabulous, amazing, interesting, exciting, astonishing, and they won.
This was the perfect way to end the day.