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Olympic Fever at Go-Ride Games

Olympic fever hit Sutton on 26th July when over twenty keen young cyclists turned out for the Sutton Go-Ride Games, a fun mixture of straightforward and jokey cycling events with an Olympic theme.

The youngsters were divided into three teams according to bike wheel size, so as to be evenly-matched. Wheel size also determined the two Categories (20" & Under, and Over20", with no swapping bikes!). Each team then decided which country it wished to represent - America, England and Australia were chosen.

With some changes from the published programme, the events were:

Relay: An event for whole teams - passing a bottle instead of a baton and cycling 200M with it - won by America

Sprint: 100M sprint - 3 races for each Category - won by Australia

Marathon: Several hilly circuits on mountainbikes - 2 x 600M for the younger children, 4 x 600M for the older ones - won by America

Hammer: In the only event not involving bikes, the contestants had to throw a welly and try not to hit the judges, although there were a couple of near misses. Result - a win for England.

Cycle-ball: Substituted for the planned Artistic Cycling in the interests of greater participation, this unconventional mix of cycle-ball and football proved popular if confusing (especially when the umpires joined in to even things up, the team playing downhill having too much of an advantage!). Result - a draw between America and England.

High Jump: Contestants were slightly worried to be faced with the limbo bars set at shoulder height and told the event was the High Jump! Sighs of relief came when coach Julian McGovern relented and revealed it was Reverse High Jump - cycling under limbo bars. Result - a win by Australia.

The teams proved to be very evenly matched, the final scores being

  1. Gold - America, with 41
  2. Silver - England, with 39
  3. Bronze - Australia, with 38

After the Medals Ceremony when all team members received a medal, Julian McGovern, the organising coach, said that it was a great finale to the Club's first year at its new venue at Sutton Grammar School's Walch Memorial Sports Ground in Northey Avenue, Cheam. All except four Club members participating had joined during the year, and the event showed not only how much they enjoyed their riding, but how much they had improved, both in skill and stamina. Several non-members who came along are already planning to join.

We hope the young riders in the Go-Ride Games will be inspired not only to cheer on the Great Britain Cycling Team in the 2008 Games, but also to try for 2012 themselves!

Britain's cyclists are its most successful sports team, winning an incredible 9 gold medals at the Manchester Track Cycling World Championships in March 2008. As our medal prospects on Track, Road and BMX head out to Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games, we wish them similar success.

To see a selection of photographs from the event click here Gallery

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