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Tour de Mace: the Brompton Challenge

Cycling Blog

Tour de Mace: the Brompton Challenge

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Brompton Challenge

October 29th, 2015

tour-de-maceWe recently wrote about the Tour de Mace ride, describing the group’s spectacular arrival at the Lee Valley velodrome in Stratford (where Bradley Wiggins broke the UCI Hour Record in June).

After the champagne reception, award ceremony, buffet, photoshoot with Nico Roche and opportunity to ride around the velodrome track the riders disappeared for a couple of hours to shower, eat, nap and generally reinvigorate themselves.

On their return we headed outside for the Brompton Challenge – a 25 mile relay race with teams of 5 each doing 5 laps of the track. John oversaw the organisation of the teams, standing proudly with a megaphone in-hand: one bike, one helmet and one bib per team, the latter two to be changed as quickly during changeover between riders.

John addressing crowd

Fancy dress was heavily encouraged and some teams rose to the challenge spectacularly: Batmen and Spidermen, comic Germans in Leiderhosen, people wearing fezzes above helmets (safety first!), Kermit the Frogs, Beetlejuices, punks and more roamed around, like a scene from a surreal dream.

Frog and LeiderhosenBrompton fancy dressFez

The rows of bright Bromptons set against the gloomy clouds was an impressive sight. Each was standing folded and adorned with a garish bib (visibility is important in cloudy conditions!). A cheeky rainbow tried its best to grace the photographs. They are a small but remarkably noble steed:

Bromptons by rainbowAtmospheric Bromptons

Despite the apocalyptically grey clouds and a brief but torrential downpour, the weather held itself together pretty well. Midway through the race a blue sky even appeared, putting smiles on everyone’s faces (especially the folk at the carnival attractions and food stands).

The race itself was a fantastic sight to behold: the raw competition between cyclists who’ve spent the past week riding together had wonderfully slapstick undertones provided by the fancy dress, the frantic pedalling, and people sacrificing logic for speed when changing teams, and getting surprisingly stuck in their bibs as a result.

Batman and BeetlejuiceTongue out

As the race got going it became a blur how many laps each rider had done (let alone each team) so the lap counter board was put away, and John was stationed on the start line with his megaphone to shout updates provided by the lads in the control booth.

Bike and control booth

The winners of the day were, justifiably, filled with pride.

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