The chance to view a professional athlete at close quarters is one not to pass up.
Watching the Wiggle Honda team warm up just minutes before the RideLondon Grand Prix is just such an opportunity.
Two of the three of ‘golden girls’ of London 2012 are on the rollers: Laura Trott has her head down, while Dani King stares straight ahead.
The cadence is astonishing, especially Trott’s. She is perhaps pedalling no faster than King, but her effort is somehow magnified by her diminutive stature. A power meter is not required to appreciate the output of either. They drive through pedals faster and faster, before easing back. Their track pedigree is evident.
Joanna Rowsell joins them after some minutes. She has been sat in base layer and helmet, a picture of focus. When she climbs aboard the rollers, she exhibits the same focus as her fellow gold medalists.
There is pressure, for Trott most of all. This is London, after all, the scene of her double gold medal winning triumph, and anything less than victory will be seen as failure. Trott is the event’s ambassador as well as its best-known competitor.
A victory for Wiggle Honda is expected, but given the quality of the field, far from assured. Hannah Barnes is here, victor (after a delay) at the IG London Nocturne. Two-time European track champion, Katie Colclough, is another serious competitor. Louise Mahe, a former member of British Cycling’s Talent Team and another strong performer at the Nocturne, is also on the start line.
In little more than an hour, the result will be known and the first significant chapter in the history of RideLondon will have been written. The weather, and the crowds, have already played their part. The riders must know do the same.