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The Hyde Park Tricycle Criterium.                                                                    Back to Other Cycling

This was arranged as part of the Tour de France Grand Depart celebrations.

In general, I had never followed the Tricycle Association's series of City Centre racing.   I did do the Birmingham race back in 2000, but the idea of racing in a group of tricycles struck me as being better to watch on TV than to actually perform.

Also, we were in the middle of preparations for the tandem-tricycle End to End.  So, all told, I wasn't keen on this race.  But the organiser was very keen for me to ride.

The actual date was a day before the first possible date for the End to End, but the weather wasn't suitable.  So I did the Hyde Park race.  We watched several other races before we moved to the circuit to warm up.

The race was 5 laps of the Serpentine Lake, almost exactly 10 miles.  I knew most of the other riders, but there was one person who was new to me - in his 20s and he looked quite fit as he was confidently warming up.  

The first three laps of the race were without much incident.  A bit of jostling causing a few spokes to be ripped out of one of someone's back wheels, but there wasn't really much racing action.

But on lap 4, this unknown guy started shouting at us to actually do some racing.   He made a move off the front.

At that stage, I figured I had to go too.  So I attacked with total commitment.  I took the lead and just went for it.   I remembered advice I'd rather randomly gathered from Pete Longbottom some years before.  (Pete is no longer with us, but his national and international racing experience made him worth listening to)   When you attack, don't ease off until you absolutely can do no more.  Don't look back until you have reached that point.  Only when you have given everything can you check to see if you have a gap or not.   I did my best to follow that advice.

I got a gap, and managed to hang on for the final lap, winning by a minute (but finishing among lapped riders, so it was a bit confusing).

Prizes were presented by Dame (now Baroness) Tanni Grey-Thompson, an 11 x Gold Medal paralympian.

And it turned out that the mystery man was David Stone.   He was already a multi-champion paracyclist, and went on to win three Golds at Tokyo and London Paralympics.

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