After being based at the (now gastro pubbed up) Alma Pub in Crystal Palace in 2010 and 2011 a new home was found at The Gipsy Hill Tavern. The staff and regular punters were incredibly welcoming to the 350 riders and bent over backwards to make sure everyone had a great day.
I picked up a lot of admin duties this year as boss man ‘Het Cobblemonster’ had just had a baby cobblemonster. One my tasks was to inform the residents of the awesomely inclined Canonbie Road (picture below) about the event and ask them to support the riders as they struggle up the gradient. I’m very grateful to hear that some residents did come out on the day and event and even offered sweets and other treats to the riders!
I was also desperately trying to get some raffle prizes from some of the big cycling teams and riders. Mark Cavendish’s agent sent me an e-mail:
Dear James, I’m sorry but Mark is not available to attend your event on that day. Good Luck with it all.
I must admit to finding this pretty funny! I e-mailed him back to ask for some dirty socks or anything I could get but to no avail.
I am very grateful to the ITV sports broadcaster Ned Boulting for coming through in a big way for us. Ned managed to get Team Sky to donate a jersey signed by all their riders including Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish. This prize was probably too valuable for our raffle so Evelina Children’s Hospital plan to auction the jersey during the Tour de France later this year. Thanks again to Ned and Gemma from Team Sky for helping us with this great prize.
Our official photographer Louise Heywood-Schiefer had great fun zipping around the course this year on the back of a scooter allowing her get some great action shots as well as some brilliant rider portraits. Thanks to Louise and scooter man Stan for their excellent work.