Chris Symonds usually works as a doorkeeper in the House of Commons – but this week he was competing in the Commonwealth Games time trial.
The 48-year-old Parliament bouncer ditched his formal wear for lycra, representing Ghana in the event as cycling has no qualifying time. He finished 47th out of 54 riders, crossing the line 16 minutes behind Australian gold medallist Rohan Dennis.
While he would be excused for not finishing near the top order, with the extent of his training the 12-mile commute to and from his home in Edmonton, north London, Symonds was disappointed to have not done better.
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He said: "All the time trials I've done this year, and it all went wrong for me today of all days – mainly the last six or seven miles.
“When I saw I was first man off the ramp I thought, 'Oh, for goodness sake'. It's the worst place to be because it means everyone else is hunting you down. About four or five overtook me, it's better to chase someone, but there you go.
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“I cycle to work and home every day, and my coach Tom Kirk has had me doing time trials on a Tuesday night. I've been doing PBs all year but it just didn't work out today.
“The journey into work is about 12 miles on a hybrid commuter bike. You try to work up a head of steam, but it's not easy with all the traffic lights."
Symonds, who has worked in the House of Commons for 20 years, will be returning to his "Edwardian evening wear, like Downton Abbey" next month following the summer recess, but his bike won't be. He joked: "It’s safer in the House of Lords, to be honest!"
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