Postman receives hero's welcome on Olympic time trial route
1:49pm Thursday 2nd August 2012 in Richmond
A postman received an unexpected hero’s welcome, with cheers and applause from crowds waiting for Bradley Wiggins and the Olympic time trial, when he cycled the route before the race started.
Tony Woodward, 48, was unable to drive his van down Strawberry Vale to empty mailboxes, so took his bike instead.
Woodward, who works at Jubilee Mail Centre in Hounslow, said he found a gap in the railings and started to push his bike down the route when the crowd started cheering.
He said: “I wasn’t expecting it, it was a bit embarrassing at first but then I got on and started enjoying it, everyone was cheering and smiling and I was high-fiving them.”
He cycled down Strawberry Vale in Twickenham before going to collect his van in Shacklegate Lane.
He said: “It was amazing for me to experience that for just five minutes so I can’t imagine how the professionals feel, but I guess they are going too fast to notice.”
Laughter and cheers could be heard from the crowd as Mr Woodward rode past to the surprise of the crowds, already in good spirits ahead of the race.
Mr Woodward said: “It was such an amazing experience, you wouldn’t know how it feels unless you do it yourself, and the atmosphere was crazy.”
By law, mailboxes must be emptied every day, so Woodward was able to do his job while soaking up the atmosphere.
He said: “When I got back my boss was happy because I’d finished everything and I had a great story to tell him.
“It was fun while it lasted, but I don’t think I’ll be buying Lycra anytime soon!”