52"The atmosphere was electric - I arrived at the top of Box Hill at 7.15am and already there were people lining the road sides. The roads were closed so the trek to the top of Box Hill was 4 miles. That’s some pretty committed people. In the area I was watching from, there must have been over 1000 people in a 100-metre stretch.
Team GB: train coming
The crowd filled the road when the riders were not coming through, it was like no other UK based cycling event that I have seen before, it was more reminiscent of the grand tours and the cyclocross scene in Belgium. People were really excited by the event. I was expecting the event to be attended by predominantly cycling enthusiasts but it seemed to attract all types and ages. Earlier in the day there were people painting the roads with names of their favourite riders and displaying banners and flags which had clearly had a lot of effort put into them.
Uran Uran - his aim is Rio and he dances in the saddle
When the race passed our spot lap by lap the crowd encroached further and further with the support cars providing a reality check as they sped by at speeds which must have been approaching 40 mile per hour - but people didn’t seem to care, they just wanted to get the best view of their favourite riders speeding past.
Team GB: train still coming
The British guys were working so hard to catch the breakaway and every time without fail they were on the front as the main peleton crested the top of Box Hill. I was fortunate to have the TV coverage to look at during laps so I could keep abreast of the time checks and positions, which is more than the riders seemed to be getting as they were not allowed radios for this event - this must have played a part in the tactical decisions which led to the breakaway group never being caught.
Vinokourov: we have a winner!
I will never again in my lifetime see an Olympic event in Great Britain, and to watch my favourite sport from such a fantastic position and to see the riders come past 9 times was an amazing experience. I have seen a lot of cycling events including the final stage of the Tour de France into Paris many times and I can honestly say that the atmosphere on Box Hill was the best I have seen. A great event and extremely well supported by the British public. I am certainly glad I was there."
Steve is Product Manager at Rutland Cycling. To see more of Steve's photos from Box Hill, go to our Facebook photo album