Brian Alldis finishes second in dramatic finish on The Mall
West Suffolk Wheelers hand cyclist Brian Alldis admitted he was utterly speechless after hordes of fans roared the Bury St Edmunds star down The Mall to second place in the inaugural Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix.
The 27-year-old narrowly missed out on top spot to Austrian Walter Ablinger in a thrilling blanket finish involving fellow Brits Chris Madden, Alistair Corps-Bell and Swiss Heinz Frei who was third.
Alldis, who was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, was a Paralympian in 2008 but missed out on London 2012 selection after switching sports from wheelchair racing to hand cycling.
But after dominating the domestic circuit this summer Alldis was well placed to capitalise at Prudential RideLondon, the biggest festival of cycling ever held in Britain.
Racing for half an hour on a 1.3-mile loop around St James’s Park starting and finishing on The Mall, the former Hardwick Middle School pupil was never off the pace, finishing just a second behind Ablinger as the pair crossed the line.
“This is completely a new experience, I’m speechless, there was a crowd all the way around,” said Alldis. “It’s just great to be able to race like this.
“It was a really hard race, we were all taking turns at the front, I was struggling to maintain a higher speed so I held back for a couple of laps but then the sprint finish came, Walter sprinted really fast and he’s a really strong guy so I’m really happy with second.”
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Alldis said he hoped to see Prudential RideLondon grow even bigger in 2014, and build on the legacy of last summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“The course was amazing, it was really fast at points we were clocking over 30mph,” he said.
“I started the sport by meeting Tanni Grey-Thompson and hopefully this inspires more people to get involved and to race.”
The Prudential RideLondon took place on 3 & 4 August. If you’re inspired to ride, visit www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk