Fiery corporate teams blazed through the soggy conditions in Canary Wharf as biking bankers came out top in The Royal Bank of Canada’s first V Series contest.
The Royal Bikers of Canada - one of four teams entered by the event sponsor - beat Pure Sports Medicine, clocking a time of 6 minutes 35 seconds over four laps of the 1km route.
The final was a mirror image of the ninth heat albeit, with less rain.
The bankers had won that encounter too as cyclists from Clifford Chance and LCH Clearnet huddled beneath heaters in anticipation of their clash to decide third and fourth place.
In the final, an early exit for one of Pure’s riders in the first lap amid thundering cheers from the City bankers’ colleagues decided the contest.
After being sprayed with a magnum of Champagne, jubilant Royal Biker of Canada Alex Stepney said: “It’s a great feeling - we thought we were in with a good chance, and we delivered.
“It’s always nice to win something.
“There was quite a lot of rivalry between the bank’s teams but, at the end of the day, we come from the same company and we cheered each other on.
“As a bank we did try out and we had a good team, a fairly good team and average teams - we were the fastest.
“The weather was the most difficult thing - it was very slippery and we had to be very careful on corners.
“But the big thing for the final was we didn’t get time to have a warm-up so we went straight to the lane.
“It’s been great - we’ll definitely have a crack at it next year now we know what to expect, but hopefully the weather will be better.”
The challenge saw a total of 20 teams battle it out from two starting points in North and South Colonnade.
A race pit and village took up the whole of Canada Square Park - with drinkers at nearby bar The Parlour securing the best spectator spot.
After months of intense training Pure’s Specialist MSK Physio Robert Brown said the challenge had been tougher than expected.
“Particularly on the one corner, it wasn’t easy at all,” he said. “It’s a bit disappointing.
“On the other hand, it was pretty good to come second and beat 19 teams, but we were beaten by the better team.”
Technical director at British Cycling Shane Sutton provided coaching and expertise throughout.
While he was impressed by the skills on the course he said he was “gutted” about the squally showers.
“At the same time you’ve got to remember you’re dealing with people who are very successful - they must have overcome massive hurdles in their lives to arrive at the place they have arrived,” he said.
“The weather was one demand of many.
“The individual companies started with big pools, and only eight riders took part, but the other parts of the pool were still out supporting them.
“This has united many people and it’s about teamwork and working closely together - I think its more than achieved that, and I think that’s really nice.”