October 25, 2008

Anthony & MagnusPractice Nurse Anthony Clarkson Grimsby writes from Lincolnshire, England:

Hi from Lincolnshire England!

I am a near 40-year-old father of three, club cyclist and pro cycling fan here in the UK who has at last found a team to believe in! For so many months I have followed Team Garmin-Chipotle in Europe and the US and with internet subscription and coverage from various sources have managed to watch most of the team’s races online from Qatar onwards. And so for months I have been enquiring if the team were to get a ride in the Tour of Britain. The Yorkshire stage was due to start just 30 miles up the road.

The fates were kind and I managed a VERY SPECIAL day spent at the Tour of Britain. I took two club mates with me and we rode down into the centre of Hull for the sign on and then took the car up the course to ride a very hilly 50 miles at the course end and take in the KOM points and then down to the finish presentation.

As we arrived at the start area, Dan Martin was just coming off the podium and I waited at the end of the riders walkway. We talked about the stage and the tough end he had to be fresh for. The main square was packed with the general public but the riders and team area was surprisingly quiet. I had ridden that day on a ’07 Felt F1 and had managed to obtain a Garmin jersey and bibs from USA suppliers and had my Team Slipstream warmers from Maggie and a signed rain vest from Blake Caldwell. I had just got off the bike when I heard a crazy aussie voice shouting: “Boy, the best dressed fan in Britain! Come on the bus mate and meet the guys!!!”

It was team manager Matt White. I boarded the bus with a spare jersey for the guys to sign. I was met first by Magnus and we had a small chat. Then I was invited to the back of the bus where Dave Millar, Julian Dean, Trent Lowe and Chris Sutton were chilling out. A bit later, I exited the bus to the amazement of my club mates.

We then journeyed up the course route to complete the ride we had planned. After supporting the guys over the last climb, we raced down to the finish to catch up with the results and speak to Matt again about how Dan had finished. As I rode away from the stage up a long climb, the team bus approached from behind and sounded the horn. Several waving hands passed by as I saluted back. Talk about a special day!