08.07.2011 ITALIASPEEDTV: "MAN VS MITO" [ALFA ROMEO UK]

Manpower versus horsepower. Man versus MiTo. Which will prevail around the busy streets of London? In anticipation of the forthcoming domestic season, Alfa Romeo UK, Official Car Supplier to UK Athletics (UKA), has staged a racing athletics challenge, pitting MAN (former European and Commonwealth 400m Champion, Iwan Thomas) against Machine (Alfa MiTo) in a 3.8-mile race around central Londonís bustling city streets, starting and finishing at Tower Bridge. Behind the wheel of the Alfa MiTo are two of Britainís brightest World Championship medal contenders; European and Commonwealth 110m hurdles Champion Andy Turner took the driverís seat, with Ďpinpointí navigational assistance from World and European Long Jump medallist Chris Tomlinson. With just one chance for the contenders to recce the route, and bragging rights at stake, the pressure was on to not only out-manoeuvre one another but also the tourist crowds and Londonís infamous traffic. Did the dynamic duo in the MiTo succeed or was Thomasí gritty determination enough to see him through? The near four mile course is a far cry from the distance Thomas is used to contesting, but he was still taking the race very seriously: ďIím a 400 metre runner not a four miler, but I think I can do it. I need to pace myself and try not to get lost. Hopefully there wonít be too many coach loads of tourists blocking my path. My competitive instincts are still with me, Iíve got to win.Ē Driver Turner says: ďIím pretty confident that we can beat Iwan but it looks like heís been back in training for the race. There will be no time for viewing the landmarks of London, my focus is on winning and weíve got to hope that the traffic isnít too heavy and we donít hit too many red lights. My season is going very well and I have high hopes for the World Championships, but if I donít beat Iwan Thomas then Iím never going to live it down.Ē Navigator Tomlinson says: ďThe pressure is definitely on my map reading skills, London isnít the easiest place to get around and weíre not allowed a Sat Nav, just a good old fashioned map. I know we have to pass a number of famous landmarks such as St Paulís, the Bank of England and the Gherkin which will be a help, but I wish I was driving.Ē Alfa Romeo has supported UKA since 2006 and the partnership includes supplying a fleet of vehicles to UKA coaches, staff and athletes, as well as a financial contribution towards the UKA programme.

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