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Last Updated: Saturday September 13 2008 11:11 GMT

Gav on the road with a bike team

Gav holding out a musette

I was so excited when I got the chance to play a part in the UK's biggest cycling event - the Tour of Britain! Eight stages across some of the most gruelling roads we have to offer. I couldn't wait to get involved!

But unfortunately (or maybe lucky) for me, I wasn't going to be riding... I was going to tagging along with the support team of Rapha Condor Recycling.

I joined the guys at the start of stage three - between Chard in Somerset, riding to Burnham on sea in North Devon.

Early start

We had to be up early to meet with the team for breakfast at their hotel in Bristol. They were all really cool, and it was nice sitting opposite Chris Newton who won a medal at the Olympics in track cycling.

After powering back an energy filled meal, we made our way to the start of the race in Chard. The weather was atrocious. But the start area was still lined with spectators - I admire their commitment!

And we even saw Bradley Wiggins, who won two golds on the track in Beijing down there. He was competing for one of the other teams taking part in the race.

No time to lose
Gavin being passed by cyclists
Gav hands the musette over - job done!

Once things got going, we had no time lose - because my next job involved getting to a checkpoint before the teams got there! I was going to be handing them food as they rode past at a high speed! Yikes.

We arrived at a place called the feed point about 45 minutes before the cyclists were due to get there. Plenty of time for me to learn how to hand the bag (called a musette) over.

Inside it was loads of goodies to keep the guys going over the last half of the race - stuff like glucose bars, energy drinks, and an odd tasting gel.

Lots of pressure

I was so glad to hear that it was down to the riders to come and get it, rather than me running it to the rider. The last thing I wanted was to get run over!

When the guys appeared, they were in big pack. I just couldn't make it who was who, as they coming at us with such speed. Then, out of nowhere, one of the riders came and snatched the bag out of my hands. Phew! My job was done!

For the next bit, I tagged along in the support car with John, the team boss, and Andy the mechanic.

Really hectic
Kristain House
Cyclist Kristian hands his glasses over for a clean

This was the most intense part of the day. You're whizzing along these winding roads along quite a few other support cars, jostling into a position where you can drive up alongside one of the team who needs help.

On our ride, John drove up next to one of our riders - and gave me the responsibility of giving him a water bottle AND cleaning his sunglasses. Bear in mind we're doing this as they're racing - it's incredibly hectic to say the least!

Good result The cars weren't allowed over the finish line, so we didn't get to see the winners cross the line. But one of Rapha's riders, Kristian House had done really well - taking a mountain stage of the race.

What an experience this day was though. I had no idea how much work was involved from the support crew. And forget taking part, it was exhausting enough just watching the action!