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July 29, 2012 / Stephanie Vermillion

London 2012 Day One: Men’s Cycling, my first-ever Olympic event

After having stayed up what felt like all night Friday to watch the Opening Ceremonies (by all night I mean 1 a.m., crazy, I know), it took pure London 2012 adrenaline to get me up and moving Saturday morning for my first-ever Olympics event, men’s cycling.

London 2012 Olympics Men's Cycling (from Yahoo Sports)

London 2012 Olympics Men’s Cycling (from Yahoo Sports)

Seeing as the Olympics ticketing has been nothing short of a nightmare over here (we lucked out just getting three games), I’m making sure to take advantage of all free Olympic events I can, such as men’s cycling.

The route for London 2012’s Olympic cycling began in central London and extended out of the city and back for a total of 156 miles. With that extra Olympic energy and a Starbucks stop on the way, Carolyn and I got an early enough start to get a perfect viewing point in Knightsbridge.

As expected with speedy Olympics cyclists, the group of bikes came and went in the blink of an eye on their way out of the city. We carried on our day watching swimming and gymnastics in Hyde Park, feeling confident we had seen all we could of live cycling (we had no idea where it ended, which is probably the result of my inability to read maps).

Later that day, about 5 hours and 40 minutes later, I was on a late afternoon walk through London and stumbled into a huge crowd of people. At first I was annoyed, beginning to understand why Londoners are so dreading the next few weeks. But then, about 4 minutes later (one minute before Kazakhstan’s Alexandr Vinokourov won the race), I realized that the cycling race started and ended in central London, right along the pall mall — my usual walking route.

Therefore, I was right in the thick of it, and not the least bit annoyed because the race was intense up until the very end, I was able to get start-to-finish footage of it unexpectedly, and I got a second round of my Olympics adrenaline rush for an afternoon pick-me-up starting with a high intensity power walk back home.

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