I never notice when I get texts and emails on my phone so yesterday probably my guardian angel put my phone right in front of my during dinner when James texted me and a colleague of mine, that whoever text him back first, got to go to see the morning program at the velodrome on Tuesday. I texted back straightaway and after an anxious 10 minutes he replied and the tickets were mine!
Four years ago, I was lucky enough to be in Beijing and the pinnacle of that trip were the track cycling events. Though it was in the other side of the globe, the Laoshan Velodrome was packed with Brits and when Team GB stormed the arena multiple times, it was an unforgettable memory. Having watched the track cycling events in the last couple of days, I knew that it was going to be a magical day.
And it was magical, indeed. You cannot prepare to the thunderous clapping, shouting, cheering and general ovation that erupts whenever a Team GB rider hits the track. This morning, Sir Chris Hoy qualified for the keirin final and Laura Trott completed the 3000m pursuit part of the Omnium race. The crowd was fair with all the non-British riders and they enjoyed a lot of cheering and support but they were quiet moments compared to the deafening roar that supported the British riders.
The program lasted for three hours and we all left with a memory that we will remember for the rest of our lives. The final races will take place at 4pm today – be sure to watch it live!
A sea of spectators arrive at the Olympic park.
The Olympic park is overwhelmingly big and the incredibly international crowd turns it into one giant festival of joy.
The velodrome is in the background, however most people on this little hill was focusing on the cheerleaders.
The middle of the velodrome was busy as ever.
As the start of the first event was approaching, all the empty seats were filling up eventually.
Flags were everywhere in every size, shape and form.
Chris Hoy warms up before his keirin heat. Note the special trousers that is used by Team GB to keep the riders' legs warm right up till the start, just like the tyre warmers in Formula-1.
And off they go! Peter, the derny rider leads the pack.
At this point they hit 60-65 km/h.
And this was the point when Chris Hoy fired up the engines and showed how was the boss.
Peter, the derny rider is being interviewed by BBC.
Laura Trott warms up for her 3000m pursuit
We talked about the importance of pacing in a previous blogpost and how the coaches communicate with the riders by positioning themselves by the track. Here, we can see a different, hi-tech approach by the Spanish team, where the coach checked the splits and then quickly scribbled the time difference on an iPad.
Laura Trott rides the 3000m Pursuit of the Omnium event. The crowd's roar was deafening through the entire race, the atmosphere no doubt gave me most people goosebumps.
Trott finished 'only' second but that didn't change the upbeat mood of the spectators of the morning program.
The big outdoor screen
One last look at the Olympic Park
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