The first weekend of the London 2012 Olympics saw events right across the capital from the Aquatics Centre to Wembley Arena and Horse Guards Parade to Richmond Park. In Petersham many roads were closed for both the Men’s and Women’s Cycling Road Races.
Local road closure notice attached to Petersham Meadows fence
Some local residents couldn’t even get out of their driveways and the herdsman had to walk to the Petersham Meadows each morning. The upside of all this disruption was two free Olympic events for both local people and many more who travelled from other parts of the UK or abroad.
Driveways blocked on Petersham Road
The men’s road race was held only six days after Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France and expectations were high for the first GB medal of the Olympic Games. However, it was not to be.
Men’s Olympic Road Race passes Petersham Meadows
The women’s road race the next day was a different story. Lizzie Armitstead joined three other riders to break away from the peloton on the second climb up Box Hill. A very late sprint down The Mall saw Armitstead secure silver with Marianne Vos (Netherlands) winning gold.
Police outriders herald the approaching cyclists
Women's Olympic Road Race peloton skirts Petersham Meadows