Great Britain’s cycling team have joined the United States, Canada and Australia in choosing Surrey as their training base ahead of London 2012.
Having started on The Mall in central London, most of the road race will take place in Surrey, with the men’s peloton tackling nine laps of a 15.5km Box Hill circuit.
The flat run-in back to the finish in front of Buckingham Palace leaves world champion Mark Cavendish as favourite to secure Team GB’s first gold medal of the Games having won July’s test event, while Nicole Cooke, Lizzie Armitstead and Emma Pooley are all capable of contending for medals on the shortened women’s course.
The time trial will take place exclusively in Surrey, starting and finishing at Hampton Court Palace, and defending champion Fabian Cancellara, who also won road race silver in Beijing, sampled the course earlier this month and also recced Box Hill.
“These athletes demand world class training facilities and superb accommodation to ensure they are at their physical and mental peak for the 2012 Games. With this in mind, it is no surprise so many teams have chosen Surrey as their base,” said Denise Saliagopoulos, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for community services and the 2012 Games.
Surrey County Council says 16 Olympic and Paralympic teams have signed up to use the county’s training facilities, and expect more to follow after London 2012 organisers, Locog, extended the deadline to apply for a training grant.
Saliagopoulos added: “The deadline for teams to obtain up to £25,000 from Locog as a training grant has been extended until the end of February. We’d be delighted to speak to Olympic and Paralympic nations and show them the superb facilities Surrey has to offer to help prepare their athletes for London 2012.”