Today my son and I walked up the street to watch the Olympic Road Cycling Time Trials. The first race was the women’s, and I had to run to the course in time to see American Kristin Armstrong flash by, flanked by police outriders and team cars and the motorcycle cameraman, and shadowed overhead by the TV helicopters. She was the gold medalist in Beijing but two months ago broke her collarbone in a crash. Today she defended her title and won gold again.
We made sure to we were on the course in time to see all the riders in the men’s race. Here are some photos of the crowd.
In the time trial, the riders depart the starting line every 90 seconds. Then it’s 40 kilometers of hard, hard riding. And when the top seeded riders got near, the crowd got wind that British riders might be doing well. From miles down the road — miles — a roar began to rise. Then, streaking up the road, came Bradley Wiggins, this year’s winner of the Tour de France and a superb time trialer. Everybody on the road went nuts — the Brits, the Yanks, the Aussies, the Danes and Norwegians and Brazilians and Colombians and everybody else who was there. I got this photo. Sorry it’s blurry — he was going that fast.
He won. He destroyed the field. And he became the most decorated British Olympian in history. The three hundred thousand people along the course haven’t recovered yet.