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Commons to Commonwealth: Ghana cyclist Symonds builds his own legacy

Commons to Commonwealth: Ghana cyclist Symonds builds his own legacy

Chris Symonds takes a turn on the streets of Wolverhampton on the way to a 47th-place finish in the men’s individual time trial. As the…

Thursday, Aug 04

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Chris Symonds takes a turn on the streets of Wolverhampton on the way to a 47th-place finish in the men’s individual time trial. As the Commonwealth Games’ greatest cyclists flew around Wolverhampton on their £10,000 superbikes, the scent of glory in their nostrils, a 48-year-old doorkeeper at the Houses of Parliament was doing his best to keep up – and, in his own small way, to create a legacy of his own.

While gold in the men’s time trial was won by Australia’s Rohan Dennis in 46min 21.24sec – with England’s Fred Wright and Wales’s Geraint Thomas taking silver and bronze respectively – Ghana’s Chris Symonds could take considerable pride in his performance, despite finishing 16 minutes back.

Not only because Symonds, who turns 50 next year, had men more than half his age behind him as he came 47th out of 54. But also because he has kept in shape by riding from his home in Edmonton to the Palace of Westminster, where he works as a doorkeeper, responsible for both security and ceremony.

“The journey into work is about 12 miles on a hybrid commuter bike,” he explained afterwards, flanked by his Slovakian wife Lucia, and his kids Jakub and Lukas. “You try to work up a head of steam, but it’s not easy with all the traffic lights.” His bike is not parked in the House of Commons, however. “It’s safer in the House of Lords, to be honest!” he said. Rohan Dennis finished 16 minutes ahead of Chris […]

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