The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) has today announced the route for the Olympic Cycling Road Races.
Scheduled to take place during the first two days of the Olympic Games, the events will start and finish on the Mall and take in six London boroughs; Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth, Richmond upon Thames, and Kingston upon Thames.
The course then heads into Surrey and through the districts of Elmbridge, Reigate and Banstead, Guildford, Woking and Mole Valley before returning to central London for the finish. Richmond Park and Bushy Park will also feature.
“This [route] extends the Games into the south west of London and Surrey,” explained Seb Coe, chair of LOCOG.
“We are delighted to be bringing such high profile and exciting events here, and which will be bringing 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.”
Naturally Lord Coe wasn't alone in welcoming news of the route. Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, said: "The Road Race is one of the first major events of London 2012 and will be followed closely by supporters looking for a home medal. I am, therefore, delighted that it will showcase many of our great landmarks and countryside and that big crowds will be able to watch it live."
London Mayor Boris Johnson added: "The explosion in cycling in the capital over the past year proves that Londoners have well and truly caught the cycling bug. There's no better way of getting around the city than on two wheels. This great route not only takes in London's iconic landmarks but brings the Games to the doorsteps of even more parts of the capital, and will ensure London keeps moving during these hugely popular events."
UCI president Pat McQuaid commented: "I think this route will produce an extremely exciting Olympic Games Road Race, and especially with the circuits of Box Hill it will be a worthy winner of both the men’s and women’s gold medals."
GB cyclist Mark Cavendish enthused: "Competing in a home Olympic Games is a once in a lifetime opportunity. 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."
There’s more detail on the London 2012 site, including a PDF of the road race route.
Pictures of team GB's cycle kit replicas also emerged from Adidas and British Cycling this morning.