Tot­ting up my top top-threes

Cycling Weekly - - WEEKLY COLUMN -

Ilove mak­ing lists of my favourite things. Nor­mal things that ev­ery­one makes lists about: favourite films, favourite al­bums, favourite desserts. But also lists of my favourite bike race things be­cause in a pie chart dis­play­ing the dif­fer­ent as­pects of my iden­tity, 80 per cent is cy­cling, 10 per cent is my favourite cakes list, and the re­main­ing 10 per cent is just la­belled ‘mis­cel­la­neous’.

I have my top-three favourite last laps in a team pur­suit race (my first World Cham­pi­onships in 2014, the Rio Olympic fi­nal, and, new edi­tion, Ber­lin World Cup last month), my top-three tried-so-hard-mysoul-left-my-body mo­ments (an in­di­vid­ual pur­suit I did in 2013 to make Team Scot­land se­lec­tion for my first Com­mon­wealth Games, the Rio Olympic fi­nal, the last lap of the 2017 World Champs om­nium) and my top-three loud­est crowds. This last list has just been reshuf­fled.

My num­ber three loud­est crowd was dur­ing (though not af­ter) the in­di­vid­ual pur­suit fi­nal at the Gold Coast Com­mon­wealth

Games this year, where I was against Aus­tralian Re­becca Wi­asak and we were neck and neck for most of the race. My num­ber two loud­est crowd was the last lap of the Glasgow Com­mon­wealth Games points race where I had to win the fi­nal sprint to get a bronze medal (and did). And I ex­pe­ri­enced my num­ber one loud­est crowd a few hours ago. I’m writ­ing this on the train home from Lon­don, you see, hav­ing just won the Madi­son at the Lon­don World Cup with Laura Kenny at the Lee Val­ley Velo­drome, which is low-key Laura’s velo­drome. She be­came dou­ble Olympic cham­pion there in 2012 and dou­ble world cham­pion there in 2016 and when she crossed the line first in the fi­nal sprint of tonight’s Madi­son I ex­pe­ri­enced a noise like no other. I could feel it in my skull, in my bones. I can still feel it. I’m putting it at the top of the list. Hope­fully my brother also got to add to his own list. He and his Hu­ub­wat­tbike team-mates won team pur­suit gold on the first night and I gather their post-race cel­e­bra­tions were a touch more rau­cous than mine and Laura’s. I might see if there’s a re­fresh­ments trol­ley on this train. Maybe they sell car­rot cake.

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