Racing News

Australian cyclists to train in Surrey for Olympics

Keep an eye out for Cadel Evans on Box Hill

Surrey cyclists, keep your eyes peeled – Australia’s Olympic team, with former world champion Cadel Evans at the helm, will train on the county’s roads ahead of London 2012.

Surrey will be a key battleground in the Olympic road race, with the men’s peloton, having started in front of Buckingham Palace on The Mall and ridden out of London, tackling nine laps of a 15.5km Box Hill circuit.

The road race route will be put through its paces during the London-Surrey Cycle Classic on August 14 – London 2012’s official test event – when the main contenders for Olympic gold will recce 140km of the course, climbing Box Hill twice, thus replicating the women’s Olympic route.

Mark Cavendish, who has been linked with a move to Team Sky for the 2011/12 season, is expected to lead one of two British squads, and Australia will also enter a team, first training in the area before racing and then returning ahead of next year’s Games.

“It is vital that our athletes acclimatise in the lead up to the games and we appreciate the people of Surrey allowing our road cyclists to train there before the competition,” said Australia’s Chef de Mission for London 2012 Nick Green.

“There is great rivalry between Team GB and Australia in cycling but we’re sure the people of Surrey will support our cyclists as they prepare to go for gold at the Games.”

The London 2012 time trials will also take place in Surrey, starting and finishing at Hampton Court Palace, taking in Esher, Cobham, Kingston, Richmond, Bushey Park and Molesey in between.

Denise Saliagopoulos, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for community cervices and the 2012 Games, added: “We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to sell Surrey as the best place for Olympic teams to base themselves in the run up to and during the games, so I’m delighted a team with as strong a sporting pedigree as Australia has decided to train their athletes here.

“I’m sure Surrey will give them a welcome they will never forget and I hope their presence will encourage even more people to take up the sport.”

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