As Bradley Wiggins wrote his name in Olympic and cycling history, behind the scenes David Matthews was helping to record his timings.
Wiggins, 32, won gold in the men’s time trial at Hampton Court on Wednesday – his seventh Olympic medal, which means he has won more than any other Brit.
But the race would not have happened without volunteers, such as Aylesbury cycle enthusiast Matthews, who monitored timings at the event and also the weekend’s Olympic Road Race.
Each bike carries a transponder which records the time that riders pass a certain point – which might sound simple and fool proof enough – ‘but in the world of cycle road-racing things happen’ says Mr Matthews.
“During the course of the race there will be a number of riders who are not recorded on the automatic timings,” he said.
“Riders are withdrawn at the last minute, bikes are changed, riders withdraw themselves or they get into an accident.
“Our job was to work with the Omega team and give a visual check that we had seen the riders pass the timing loop and give them a time check.”
Mr Matthews, who runs the Aylesbury Cycle Club’s annual time trial in Botolph Claydon, had access to a HD camera during the race so he could double check what he had recorded – for example to make sure he took down the correct riders details as they whizzed past in a group.
He was based in Box Hill during the Olympic Road Race.
Afterwards he said: “It was fabulous watching the British boys coming up the hill riding their hearts out.”