Sunday, October 17, 2021

Finished Already?

-

Finished Already

As I sit in the brothel that is Terminal 3, Heathrow, I can’t believe that my direct involvement with the London Olympics is done. Finished already… when did that happen? It felt like forever when I was first nominated to be physio, and still forever when I was confirmed.

All of a sudden I was in London which was in the midst of cycling hysteria as Wiggo and Froomey had confirmed that they would be atop the podium at the Tour, and the Olympics were about to start.

The buzz in town was amazing: about the Olympics in general and British cycling in particular, and it was impossible to not be super excited about the whole shebang.

Finished Already
The crowds were awesome for both races.

Obviously the punishment of security checks, red tape and heavy traffic was there to be dealt with, but the Games are just so big, you have to expect that sort of deal and it’s a very small price to pay for the general awesomeness of it all. Yes, awesomeness is not my finest descriptor from a “style” point of view, but it is from an “accuracy” angle.

As for the racing, despite the Cav-inspired and media-fanned beat-up about “negative” tactics, our boys were spot on in the Road Race.

Is it now considered negative if you try and defeat the opposition in sport?

I was unaware of this new concept of a team being negative by being in the break and attacking the peloton. Ridiculous.

That Stuey could muster a high finish despite being up the road for over 200km is a testament to the ability of the man. It was very cool seeing him go through his preparations on the morning of the race: he was clearly “on”.

The little bit of fire in the eyes as the legend rolled out for what must have surely been his last Olympics (although you wouldn’t rule him out of the next one!)

Finished Already
Warm-up mode (in full aero kit).

In the Time Trial Mick Rogers did brilliantly – that he cramped literally on the finish line and then couldn’t stand up after he got off his bike for more hamstring cramps shows that he went very deep on the day.

Sixth place in both races was a great result for Australia and an impressive performance from our road cycling men.

They rode to the limit of their abilities, and delivered very good (although not great) results. I feel proud to have been a part of the team.

Finished Already
Wiggo rolling to the start.

As for Wiggo taking the win?

It was brilliant being there. Not as huge a sound as Cathy Freeman’s 400m gold in Sydney, but it was fantastic to experience, and good to see an athlete perform to their absolute best when the Big Show rolled around.

Well done to Wiggo, and to his team for getting his prep so perfectly right.

Finished Already
Someone was paid to come up with that idea.

And now?

Back to Brisbane to see the Lions roll out the season: hopefully with a couple more wins!

The time trial started at the beautiful Hampton Court Palace, and had ludicrous “hot seats” designed by Ali G.

Toby Watsonhttps://www.veloveritas.co.uk
Ex-Garmin Transitions physiotherapist and soigneur Toby Watson brings you inside the squad, and shows you what it's like to be working with a top team on the biggest races in the world. Through his regular blog updates, Toby shares his sense of drama and fun that were essential parts of his job. Toby is Australian, and currently lives in Girona with his fiancee Amanda. If he has any time, he enjoys reading and running, and occasionally skiing too, when he can.

Related Articles

Eddie Alexander – 4th in the Seoul Olympic Sprint; “I wish I knew then, what I know now”

Whilst Seoul in 1988 was no ‘Beijing Gold Rush’ the performances of the GB riders opened eyes and proved that Olympic medals weren’t just a pipe dream. A young Englishman called Colin Sturgess narrowly missed bronze in the pursuit and a Highlander called Eddie Alexander took fourth in the sprint.

Tony Gibb – From the Commentator’s Box; London Olympics Day Six

Well, the women's omnium is in full swing at the London Olympics Day Six. Laura Trott has won the flying lap, a great ride, I'm not entirely sure where she was for the points race, I think team GB put someone up in her place, maybe she was getting her hair done or something, all I know is she didn't show up!

Michael Mørkøv – From the Tour to the Olympic Track

One of the men who enlivened the race amidst what was a pretty dull GC battle in this year’s Tour de France was Saxo Bank –Tinkoff Bank rider, Michael Mørkøv. The Dane wore the leaders’ jersey for the king of the mountains during the first week and was in the breakaway more than 800 kilometres during le Tour.

From the Commentator’s Box, Tony Gibb; London Olympics Day Two

So the first day of track competition, and I am buzzing! It's all hit home, I'm here, at the London Olympics Day Two, it's weird, being so close, knowing all the people involved...

Shane Archbold – Focused Solely on the Omnium

For the Beijing Olympics in 2008 it was the kilometre which got the chop. For London 2012 the axe is bigger and sharper – the individual pursuit, points and madison all become historical footnotes. We caught up with New Zealander Shane Archbold to discuss this, the Olympics, and more...

Jack Bauer – On His 10th Place in the Olympic Road Race

Continuing with our series of interviews with Olympians past and present, we talk to New Zealand's tenth place finisher in the London road race - Jack Bauer.

At Random

British Time Trial Championships 2018

No Steve Cummings – saving it for the road race or just no form? - it looked like a shoot-out then between Dauphine winner, Geraint Thomas and chrono specialist Alex Dowsett (Katusha) for the British Time Trial Championships 2018. The sun was out, our spot on the hill was perfect, the marshal was sound with not a trace of Janitordom and Dave’s cheese and ham pieces were of exceptional quality. And Britain’s best bike riders were set to scoot past us. Not much more a man can want in life.

Tour de Yorkshire 2018 – Stage 2 Wrap Up; Magnus Cort Nielsen takes the uphill sprint

Magnus Cort Nielsen couldn’t even hear himself breathe, such was the noise that greeted his mesmeric finish to win stage two of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire. But if the Dane thought that finale in Ilkley was loud, the Yorkshire Bank and Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries leader’s jersey holder hasn’t heard anything yet. History was made as the Tour finished on a summit for the first time, the brutal second stage from Barnsley finishing atop the Cow & Calf hill some 149km later.

Le Tour de France 2007 – Day 1: Stage 12, Montpellier – Castres

Bonjour! It's that time - there's only one game in town and it's called, 'Le Tour'. Ken Livingston's ego trip and the stages Viktor calls; "watchin' paint dry!" are behind us, so are the Alps. Tomorrow it's the first time trial then it's the Pyrennes; sprinter and transition stages; the final tt and Paris. God-willing, we'll be there all the way. We arrived at Perpignan around 6.00, local time, it's nearly 9.00 now and we've still got our accreditation to collect at Castres. Wheels for the trip, is a Renault Clio, the air-con and stereo and iPod work, that's all you need really.

World Road Championships 2007 – Day 1: Espoirs Time Trial

I'm sitting in the press room at the World Road Championships 2007, sharing a table with my boyhood hero, Hugh Porter, four time world pursuit champion and on the podium in that event for seven years straight-he'll need to get interviewed, I can't let that opportunity go! We're here for the Worlds in Stuttgart, the Under-23 time trial was this morning and ladies time trial was this afternoon. I was lucky-enough to follow the Latvian rider, Gatis Smukulis in the test.

Ethan Vernon – Part of the Welsh Team Pursuit Squad “hoping to go sub-four”

There’s a new kid on the Team Pursuit block, 17 year-old winner of three national championships in 2017, author of a 1:02 kilometre and in the Welsh team which twice recorded 4:01 rides in the recent Commonwealth Games, Mr. Ethan Vernon - another man to benefit from riding with Dan Bigham’s KGF track squadra. Here’s what he had to say to us just the other day...

Jack Carlin – Adding to his World Championship Medal Collection

Another one for Jack Carlin. Major championship silver medal, that is, this time in the UCI World Team Sprint Championship in Berlin. We caught up with him as he prepared to take a wee break from training and racing before the big build up for the competition which really matters to Team GB: the Olympic Games in Tokyo come late July/early August.