House of Commons doorman swaps Westminster commute for Commonwealth Games time trial



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doorkeeper from the House of Commons briefly rubbed shoulders with the elite of cycling in finishing 47th of 54 in the men’s time trial at the Commonwealth Games on Thursday.

The 48-year-old Chris Symonds trains by cycling 12 miles a day on his morning commute on a hybrid commuter bike to Westminster.

Although he finished 16 minutes off the pace, unlike Geraint Thomas, whose gold medal hopes were undone by a crash early on, he managed to stay in the saddle throughout.

Symonds, competing for Ghana, had previously lined up in the World Championships and even edging towards his 50th birthday has no immediate plans to give up his side career.

The oldest man in the field said afterwards: “I’ve been doorkeeper for 20 years since Gordon Brown and David Cameron were Prime Ministers. We keep the doors to the chamber.”

As for his cycling prowess, he admitted he was never going to get close to upsetting the podium places.

“You need to do these events to get better and better and better,” said Symonds, who had previously competed for Ghana in the triathlon, of his own late-blooming cycling career. “So maybe in 10 or 20 years the smaller nations will be able to compete with the bigger nations.

“And we work long hours. Sometimes you can do 50 hours in a week and train on top of that as well. That can be hard.”

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