Olympic Womens Mountain Biking

Last Saturday we headed to Hadleigh Farm to see the womens mountain biking race. Mountain biking is the cycling discipline I know least about, but as it was only down the road we decided to go, on the basis that we'd likely never get to go to another home Olympics event (this was us in pre-Olympic cynic mode - in hindsight I wish I could have gone to many more events).

We left the kids with Anna's mum and got the train to Leigh, followed by a free shuttle bus to Hadleigh Farm. Despite fears that everything would be chaotic, we were pleasantly surprised at how smoothly everything went - there was a small queue for the bus but it moved quickly and in no time at all we were in!

After a lengthy queue for expensive food and expensive merchandise (the only negatives of the day really - the queues that is, I expected everything to be expensive!), we found a spot in the middle of the track, which gave us a decent view of around a third of the circuit, as well as being able to see a big screen in the distance. The route would pass us twice per lap so we got to see the cyclists very close through most of the race.

Unfortunately, I had left my camera on all night despite charging the battery, so I had to rely on my phone for pictures/videos which wasn't ideal. Here are a few videos:

It was a great atmosphere - there were large pockets of Norwegians and Swiss, but just about every nationality was represented. The loudest noise was obviously when Annie Last came round - sadly she ended in 8th place but she got huge cheers all the way round, as did the South African woman who came last, 14 minutes down on the French winner.

A pretty tired Annie Last
We both enjoyed it much more than we'd anticipated, and the time went really quickly. It helped that it was a lovely day! At the end we headed for the medal ceremony, but couldn't see a lot!

The podium is to the left of the start/finish arch here
Overall it was a brilliant experience! There's a few more pictures here.

Keane Ingram

A father of three and husband of one. I enjoy spending time with my family, staying active (especially cycling, running and capoeira) and playing video games. I also enjoy reading and watching films.

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