Road Cycling News

Box Hill spectator numbers expected to be 'vastly larger' for Olympic road race

London 2012’s Debbie Jevans is confident the number of spectators on Box Hill for the Olympic road race will be “vastly larger” than the test event.

Mark Cavendish won the Olympic road race test event

Spectator numbers on the climb were limited to 3,000 for the London-Surrey Cycle Classic, won by Mark Cavendish, in order to protect the the National Trust land, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.

Box Hill is set to be a key battleground in the Olympic road races, providing a launch pad for attacks and testing the sprinters’ legs before the flat run-in to the finish on The Mall. The climb will be tackled nine times by the men’s peloton and twice by the women’s.

Cavendish was among the riders to comment on the muted atmosphere on the climb during July’s test event, which saw more than 100,000 line the rest of the route – but Jevans, who is head of sport for the London 2012 organising committee, insists lessons have been learnt ahead of the main event.

“When the international federations commented and when Mark Cavendish commented, they were only talking about a small part of that nine-mile route,” she said.

“We are working with the National Trust and Box Hill to see where we can widen the roads, where we can do some tree trimming and really maximise the number of spectators there,” said Jevans.

“I am confident the number of spectators is going to be vastly larger than the 3,000 we had for the test event.”

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