The Grand Final
Out on the road, the Director Sportif has to navigate his Jaguar XF Sportbrake through the race’s hazards while staying close to the leaders. The Grand Final auto test replicated the challenge with a coned course that rewarded control and slick wheel work.
The cycling time trial is known as the race of truth – and for the Grand Final’s 10km our competitors left nothing out on the road. Lungs bursting, hearts pounding, they gave their all.
Two deserving winners
The day’s winners were Paul Morris, who qualified via the Harwoods Group ride out; and Gemma Waterjohns, the finalist from Taunton Jaguar. They’ll be joining Team Sky at their winter training camp in Majorca in early 2015.
Morris said: “It's fantastic to have won, and I couldn't believe it at first because I fell right at the start of my ride. The wind caught my front wheel as I rounded the first corner and down I went. My chain came off but luckily I managed to get it back on quickly. I assumed I must have missed my chance but I gave it my all and I'm now glad I did!
“I've had a long year on the bike - I only started time trialling this year - so I'm going to have a few weeks off now before I build things back up for this trip of a lifetime.”
Waterjohns added: “I had a really good day and got a bit emotional when my name was called out. I wasn't expecting to win as I thought I'd messed up my driving. I really went for it on the bike though and all my training paid off.
“I'm really excited to join Team Sky in Majorca and I'll be asking the riders for plenty of tips. This is going to inspire me to keep training over the winter so I'll be good to go for when I fly out.”
A day to remember
Between events, the finalists were able to ride shotgun with Jaguar’s pro drivers for some hot laps in the supercharged 5.0 litre Jaguar XJR. And get behind the wheel of the new F-TYPE for some rapid laps of their own.
Team Sky’s Head of Performance Operations, Rod Ellingworth was on hand to encourage and support. Food and refreshments were designed by Team Sky’s nutritionist, and guided tours of the Team Sky bus were conducted by driver ‘Slarky’. Also on display - and drawing lots of admiring glances - were the team’s XFR-S Sportbrake and F-TYPE Coupé.
Riding into 2015
Jaguar is committed to supporting cycling both at the elite level and at the grassroots, so please look out for future communication from us. Meanwhile, enjoy your cycling.