On Friday, the wedding party cars at the Burford Bridge Hotel beneath Box Hill had to cope with gatecrashers in the shape of several Great Britain team cars, a documentary film crew, a team coach on a maxi-scooter and sundry other GB staff – British Cycling never travels knowingly under-manned.

And, at the heart of the fuss there were two riders, one in the rainbow bands of the World road race champion and the other in regulation Sky kit – Mark Cavendish and Ben Swift – out to do a final test of the crucial Box Hill climb.

“This is Mark’s last chance to ride part of the course before the Games, so we’re making the most of it,” said one team member, in spite of the threatening clouds and tree-bending winds. Nobody should have been fooled by the presence of the film crew though, this was no advertising shoot, this was a full-on training effort.

“The plan is to do several full-on climbs up Box Hill as well as some riding with Rod (Ellingworth) behind the scooter. Rod’s got an SRM PowerMeter attached to his bars so he can see what Mark is doing and, although (Sky’s chief sports scientist) Tim Kerrison isn’t here today, we’ve got a member of the sports science team with us. Although we can get live data from the SRM if we need to, we’re not doing that today.”

Although Cavendish was resplendent in his rainbow jersey and the rest of the staff in GB kit and team cars in full livery, “we didn’t announce this session to the media, although these things always tend to get out. The last time we came here there were about 60 people waiting on Box Hill.”

You can bet there will be a hell of a lot more people on July 28, the day of the Olympic Road race.

Related links

Cycling Weekly’s Olympic Games 2012 section

  • carpinteyrobrl

    Man skal vide en slags speciale erklæring kan være en en deklarativ tidsperiode bestående af din koncentration fra din sammensætningen og endnu forklarer til at Kunder lige hvad det kommer til at om . Stadig undtagen at kunne hjælpe en persons Kunder sammen med fatte en persons Artikel det virkelig er fra fremragende MBT Night Beach være en hjælp til du faktisk i processen.

  • Eric Farquharson

    A bit difficult to have a ‘full range of options’ in a team of 5! I reckon that having Ben Swift, who seems to be coming to form at the right time, is not such a bad Plan B.

  • Terry

    I think Cav has been riding up and down a lot of ‘hump back’ bridges and I think we’re all in for a surprise come the TdF. We may well see him contending lumpy stages and he’ll need less nursing over the big stuff.
    I never thought I’d see this potential for GB success in the Tour in my lifetime- I can hardly allow myself to think Yellow, Green, Gold ……… on the road.
    Well done SKY for getting Cav and Wiggi into better shape so far, just take your eyes of picking up TV rights to the TdF next year !!!
    We’ve seen what has happened to Football, Cricket and F1, the TdF on pay for view would be unbearable.

  • Dave Smart

    Cavendish has been reported as saying he hopes to reduce his racing weight by 4kg to enable him to be on peak form for the nine climbs of Box Hill. Isn’t it a bit late in the day to be doing a first-time experiment in the months running up to the Olympics? The coaching team have no idea how this is going to affect Mark’s sprint, do they? Then again, the strategy of the whole team riding for a chosen sprinter, be it Cavendish or Armitstead, is highly questionable. A full range of options should be entertained, to allow the team to respond to events, which they can’t control. ‘Hedging your bets’ is a better approach than ‘all your eggs in one basket’.

  • Richard N

    Funny that when the other teams have tried to train we’ve had roadworks going on, but now Cav wants a go the road is clear… sneaky 😉

  • Mike T.

    Pics!! We need pics or it didn’t happen.