Racing News

UCI approve London 2012 test event in August

The narrow roads of Box Hill could provide the perfect launching pad for a successful attack

A UCI-approved test event will be held over the London 2012 road race course on August 14, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The route was officially unveiled yesterday – with the main action likely to unfold over a 15.5km Box Hill circuit, with the 145-strong men’s peloton tackling nine laps, while 67 women will ascend the iconic 166m climb twice before heading back to the capital and finishing in front of Buckingham Palace on The Mall.

And the world’s best riders are set to descend on the roads of London and Surrey this summer in a dress rehearsal for the Games, albeit riding only three laps of Box Hill. 

The event will sandwich the end of the Tour de France and start of the Vuelta a Espana but is likely to see any riders harbouring Olympic medal ambitions attend.

While the run-in to The Mall is pancake-flat, the cumulative effect of the Box Hill climb, along with its narrow, winding and poorly-surfaced roads, will make the race difficult to control, with each national team limited to a maximum of five riders. 

“It could be very tactical, quite difficult to control and a pretty exciting race,” Great Britain men’s team manager Rod Ellingworth told the Telegraph.

“The circuit itself is not overly hard in terms of climbing but it is tricky and narrow and will make the racing very tactical. With a maximum of five riders per team controlling such a race will be a big challenge.

“The finish up the Mall is flat which is pretty encouraging for Cavendish and other sprinters and there is a fast run back into London after the circuit which could help reel in any breaks, but about 20km from the finish you start hitting a lot of road furniture and that last section could cause a few problems as well.”

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