City of London office workers will tomorrow get a chance to swap their pinstripes for a Pinarello at the IG Markets Square Mile Challenge being held with Team Sky at Broadgate Circle close to Liverpool Street Station.
The event is being held to mark the announcement last week of IG Markets as the British pro outfit’s latest sponsor, and Team Sky riders Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas, Ben Swift and Russ Downing will be taking turns to challenge fans in a one-mile virtual race.
Each race will pit one of the pros against seven contenders, one of whom will be road.cc’s very own Mat Brett, so if you’re in the area, get along there to cheer him on and meet the Team Sky pros. You’ll also have the chance to look around the team car as well as have your bike serviced free by a top mechanic.
Although allotted race slots have already been filled up, there may be limited stand-by opportunities throughout the day, so you may even get a chance to take on some of Britain’s top pros yourself.
While there is a prize of a Pinarello FP1 bike for whoever sets the fastest time of the day, there’s an extra incentive to go better than the pros – if anyone does manage to do that, Team Sky is offering a Pinarello Dogma bike to the fastest person to do so.
If that did happen, the winner would fully deserve the bike, with Thomas the third fastest man in the Individual Pursuit on the track, Wiggins a double Olympic champion in that event as well as current British time trial champion, and Swift and Downing both notching up individual wins on the road during Team Sky’s debut season.
The event, which takes place between 10am and 3.30pm, ties in with two themes Dave Brailsford touched upon when we met him and sports director Sean Yates in Windsor last week
One is that the team plans to take itself a bit less seriously next year, introducing a bit more of a ‘fun’ element to proceedings, the other that it’s important for the riders not to become too isolated from their fans, epitomised by Team Sky’s practice of throwing up a cordon around the team bus during big races.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.