British Cycling teamed up with Madison to offer one lucky competition winner the chance to experience an elite road race in the Madison team car.
Graham Hind, a British Cycling member from Thirsk, North Yorkshire, joined Madison Genesis sports director, Roger Hammond, during the Stockton Grand Prix – round five of the British Cycling Elite Road Series.
We caught up with Graham to find out how he got on.
Tell us a little about yourself as a cyclist?
I decided to buy a bicycle in 2013 and take to the roads. I wish I had done it sooner! I am a member of a local cycle group, the Thirsk Tootlers, who are a friendly bunch of like-minded cyclists.
It is more social cycling than serious, but being part of a group has improved my fitness and, most importantly, my health.
Did you follow the racing on the British domestic scene before this competition?
Yes, I have been a fan and watcher of cycle sport for more years than I care to mention!
What was it like to spend the day with Roger Hammond and the team?
It was a fantastic day. As a fan for many years, it truly was a privilege to experience a race from the team’s perspective. The team were friendly and welcoming while Roger is a fantastic host, hugely knowledgeable and willing to answer any question. It is a day that will linger long in my memory!
What was the atmosphere like in the Madison Genesis team car during the race?
It was great, really friendly with a good smattering of ‘banter’. Roger even shared his sweets!
What part of the experience was the most exciting?
I really cannot pick out a particular part - the whole thing was just a wonderful experience.
How was Roger Hammond’s driving?
It was very controlled, but Roger can certainly make the tyres squeal when needed!
Did you learn anything new about the world of bike racing during the experience?
I understand the important role of the directuer sportif more now. I also saw how difficult a job the commissaries have monitoring all the events in the hustle and bustle of the race. These are things you do not see from the roadside.
Now that you’ve had a taste of it, would you give up your day job to work in a professional cycling team?
I would at the drop of a hat! Are you offering?!