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. 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. Obviously the punish 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”. 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 ones!)
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.
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.
And now? Back to Brisbane to see the Lions roll out the season: hopefully with a couple more wins!!