The first rider off the ramp within the males’s time trial on the Commonwealth Games was a 48-year-old driving for Ghana who spends his working days as a doorkeeper on the House of Commons.
Chris Symonds was upset along with his time of 62 minutes 56.79 seconds over the 37.4km course round Wolverhampton – 16-and-a-half minutes slower than winner Rohan Dennis – insisting it was a way off the kind of tempo he has ridden in current membership time trials.
His preparation for these Games has been constructed round commuting 12 miles every method from north London to the Palace of Westminster daily on an everyday bike.
“I’ve been a doorkeeper for 20 years, since Gordon Brown and David Cameron were Prime Minister,” Symonds stated. “We keep the doors to the chamber, to make sure people like you don’t get in.
“I’ve barred entry to a few famous people, but I’d better not say who.
“The journey into work is about 12 miles on a hybrid commuter bike – you try to work up a head of steam, but it’s not easy with all the traffic lights.”
Symonds was greeted in Wolverhampton by native MP Stuart Anderson, who wished him luck earlier than Thursday’s race, and he rides with the likes of Finchley MP Mike Freer, although he wouldn’t be drawn on who have been the fittest politicians.
“No comment,” he stated. “I might make a few enemies if I get it wrong.”
Symonds insisted his job was “never stressful” however does contain lengthy hours, consuming into the time he would possibly spend coaching within the ‘Little Alps’ of Hertfordshire, having labored with a coach – Tom Kirk – for the primary time this season.
“I have had four course PBs this season,” stated Symonds, who purchased the £4,000 bike he rode in Wolverhampton himself. “So I would have liked to have gone better out there.”
Symonds was born in London however qualifies for Ghana by his mom. He competed within the triathlon on the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006, however with no triathlon in Delhi 4 years later, he switched to the time trial – the primary Ghanaian to compete in each occasions.
Symonds ended up forty seventh out of 54 riders, one place behind 46-year-old Jim Horton.
Horton used to name Walsall dwelling however raced within the colors of the Falkland Islands having moved to Port Stanley to take up a task as head of immigration three-and-a-half years in the past.
“I’m a Falklands resident but I’m proud to be from Walsall, proud to be from the Black Country,” he stated. “Now I’m a Falkland Islander. It’s fantastic riding there, there’s no traffic, no traffic lights, it’s just open road. There’s a lot of wind so it’s really good training.”
Horton discovered himself within the tent subsequent to Geraint Thomas when he arrived within the paddock for his recon journey – all a part of the way in which the Commonwealth Games places plenty of beginner athletes alongside the elite each 4 years.
“I’m sure I’m living the dream,” Horton stated. “I think there is a place for the Commonwealth Games, I think there is a place for amateurs who train hard and get to the top of their game. I think this is the exact place for it. I think there are other places for professionals, the grand tours, the World Championships, this is a home for both, I think it works.”
After gathering bronze, Thomas himself agreed.
“They say it’s a friendly games, don’t they?” the Welshman stated. “It’s been good to sort of mix with all sorts of different nations. No disrespect, but some of the nations I’ve never even heard of, so it’s been nice.
“It’s kind of strange when you have people come into the pen asking for photos that you’re racing against. But it’s a great atmosphere.”