Olympic road race route officially revealed
Details of the men's and women's 2012 Olympic Games cycling road race route were officially revealed to the public and assembled media on Box Hill, Surrey, by the London Organising Committee on Thursday morning.
As previously reported by Cycling Weekly, the route starts and finishes on The Mall, London, and travels south west through Putney, Richmond Park, Twickenham, Westhumble and Dorking before arriving at the likely flashpoint of the race at Box Hill, including the famous Zig Zag Road to the top ridden by hundreds of cyclists every weekend. The riders then return north through, Leatherhead, Esher, Hampton Court and Kingston-upon-Thames to the Mall
The men's race is around 250 kilometres, including nine laps of a 15.5km circuit of Box Hill, with the women's clocking up 140 kilometres and including two laps of Box Hill.
The race will be run on fully closed roads and the route has already been agreed with all local authorities, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and British Cycling. Early concerns about impact on wildlife at the sensitive chalk downland habitat in the Box Hill area - owned by the National Trust - now seem to have been resolved.
A dress rehearsal UCI international road race has been scheduled for mid-August this year to test out the route in advance of the Games.
Seb Coe, chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee said: "This extends the Games into the South West of London and Surrey. We are delighted to be bringing such high profile and exciting events here which will bring the Road Race into challenging cycling terrain through many new boroughs and districts. Following our medal success in Beijing, the road cycling events really will bring the magic of the Games to life for many thousands of spectators."
British hopes for the road race events are high, with Nicole Cooke looking to defend her Olympic title from the 2008 Beijing Games and Manx sprinter Mark Cavendish bidding for the men's title on home soil.
"Competing in a home Olympic Games is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Cavendish. "To compete in the Road Race on the opening weekend of the London 2012 Games in front of home fans is going to be amazing. I look forward to checking out the course in detail and to experiencing the well known cycling terrain in Surrey through to the finish on The Mall."
Earlier this year, Cycling Weekly rode the route of the Olympic Games with a group of professional riders.
Details of the time trial routes will be released shortly.
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