Lewis Hamilton carries Olympic Torch on opening Luton relay leg today

PUBLISHED: 08:20 09 July 2012 | UPDATED: 08:31 09 July 2012

Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone for the 2012 British Grand Prix [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone for the 2012 British Grand Prix [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

Archant

FORMULA One star Lewis Hamilton was in pole position this morning (Monday) as he opened day 52 of the Olympic Torch Relay.

After finishing a disappointing eighth at Silverstone yesterday (Sunday) in the 2012 British Grand Prix, the 27-year-old former F1 world champion from Hertfordshire was the first Torchbearer in Luton earlier this morning.

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver set off from St George’s Square just after 6.30am.

Hamilton, whose family live in Tewin, was unable to carry the Torch through his home county as he was competing at Silverstone.

The Torch arrived in Luton yesterday after travelling through Cambridgeshire and then Letchworth Garden City, Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead on its marathon journey around the country.

Today the route takes the Olympic Flame from Bedfordshire to Oxford.

The relay will travel through Luton, Dunstable, Milton Keynes, Bletchley, Buckingham, Winslow, Whitchurch, Aylesbury, Stoke Mandeville, Waddesdon, Bicester, Kirtlington, Woodstock and Kidlington before reaching Oxford at the end of the day.

Among today’s other Torchbearers will be 2004 Athens Olympics badminton silver medallist Gail Emms.

The 34-year-old former Hertfordshire county player will carry the Flame in Milton Keynes.

Gail was coached throughout much of her career at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield by Welwyn Garden City’s Bill Goode, who carried the Torch himself on Saturday in Ware.

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