London, UK, Buckingham Palace- On July 28, 2012, at 10 a.m., 144 countries sped off from the starting for the Olympic Men’s Road Race. The course began at Hampton Court Palace. It made nine loops around Box Hill, eventually making its way back towards the Mall.
Both the finish and starting lines were reserved for ticket holders. However, crowds of those without tickets lined the guard rails along stretches of the course. The crowd was lively and enthusiastic. John Bradley, who witnessed the cyclists take-off said, “It was absolutely amazing and pretty exciting.” Despite this, Bradley did have some trouble when deciding on which country to cheer on. “I’m Canadian, but I’ve lived here in London for a couple of years now. So I’m at a loss for who I want to win.”
Those coming to support their individual countries showed it through their attire and painted faces. Many spectators draped the flag of their home countries on to the rails or wore them as capes.
For the cyclists’ return, crowds gathered at Buckingham Palace in hopes of seeing the winner. Since the cyclists did not return until 3:30 p.m., spectators gazed through magazines and socialized in the square and the park.
At 11 a.m., the Queen’s Royal Guard took part in the Changing of the Guard Ceremony. This served as a highlight in the crowds wait, with many scrambling to capture photos of the ceremony. From spring to autumn, the ceremony is performed daily. While from autumn to spring, it is done every other day.