With the crowds out in force and the sun blazing down, Saturday's Procycling Hot Laps at BikeRadar Live were set to be a serious challenge.
Riders attempted to show off their racing prowess around the two and a half mile, undulating, tarmac course at Donington Park. The glory of getting as close a time as possible to one of BikeRadar Live's big stars, Stephen Roche and Graeme Obree and winning the Hot Laps Trophy, was too much for most to resist.
The fastest lap of the day was set by Robin Wilmot in a time of 5 minutes and 59 seconds. That's the official benchmark to beat when the second round of the competition as run between 11am and midday tomorrow.
Ellis Bacon, Deputy Editor for Procycling, set the second best lap time of 6'07, sporting some fantastically bright yellow cycling shoes. He said on completion of his lap: "At the time it was very hard as its hot and windy today. I think the worst part of the course is definitely up to the finish line. It's only a couple of hundred meters but the head wind makes it tough. I was also under the impression that it was going to be quite a flat course but I think I may have run out of excuses for my slow time now! It was a good challenge as it's more of a race against yourself. I will hopefully be coming back tomorrow to try and beat my time."
Paul Godfrey, art editor for Procycling, also put in a good time of 6'49, although he found the crosswinds tough to manage on his deep section rims.
Towards the end of the Hot Laps competition, two time world hour record holder Graeme Obree brought his self-designed bike out onto the circuit to have a few test laps before he sets his official lap time tomorrow. His best was under 5'50, the quickest of the day.
He told fans that at 1.2kg, his new, steel-framed bike weighs about the same as a carbon bike. One of his fans then asked him about his choice of colour for his new bike, to which Obree replied: "It's rainbow blue; well that's what it said on the [paint] tin!"
On BikeRadar Live so far, Obree was impressed: "Oh it's brilliant! With any first festival it's really hard to get people to come but there are loads of people here and the great thing is you can hang about like a slob. I brought a shirt and tie but there was no need for it at all, so it's brilliant!"
His advice for anyone trying out on the Hot Laps tomorrow is to: "Get it done as quickly and as early as possible so that you can relax and enjoy the rest of the day."
Make sure you sign up early for the second round and see if you can beat the best tomorrow.
|1 Robin Wilmott||0:05:59|
|2 Ellis Bacon||0:06:07|
|3 Colin Gardener||0:06:08|
|4 James Thorn||0:06:12|
|5 Ian Simms||0:06:20|
|6 Oliver Humphries||0:06:21|
|7 Adam Harries||0:06:32|
|8 Peter Richardson||0:06:32|
|9 Jody Bett||0:06:33|
|10 Richard Crossley||0:06:35|
|11 Neil Pedoe||0:06:39|
|12 Paul Godfrey||0:06:49|