Cycling schedule for Olympic Games releasedShareThis
Overnight the full schedule of the Olympic Games was published and cycling will feature prominently in the first few days.
Mark Cavendish will hopefully set things rolling on the road race route (see below for road race route discussion) on July 28th, with the Women’s race following the next day. Both Women’s and the Men’s Time Trial are being held on the same day – August 1. The road race cycling will be free to watch along the route though there is a charge to watch near or on the finishing line. Prices here vary from £20 to £60.
The track cycling programme at the wonderful new Velodrome in the Olympic Park kicks off on August 2 and finishes on August 7. Apart from the first two days of competition when there are only evening sessions kicking off at 4pm, the rest of the days will see two sessions with one in the morning (starting at 10am) and the other in the evening (starting at 4pm as before).
The track events are bound to attract plenty of interest from the general public and organisers have limited the maximum number of tickets bought per person to four. Price categories for seating also vary a great deal. In the top category AA, you will have to pay £325 for a ticket. At that price most of us would expect to be cycling the track itself. For more info on the pricing for the track events go here.
The BMX events are up next with racing starting on August 8th and finishing on the 10th. Prices for viewing vary according to category with the cheapest at £20 and the highest at £95 on the first two days of racing. On finals day, the highest ticket price will be £125.
The mountain biking course is predictably away from London at Hadleigh Farm in Essex. The Women’s race features first on August 11 with the Men’s a day after. To watch, tickets will cost £20 and £40 depending on category.
It is worth noting that tickets for these events will be awarded via a ballot so its not a case of first come first serve. Likewise if you apply there is no guarantee you will get a ticket for a particular event or in the case of the track cycling, the day or session you want. Ticketing is open till March 15 and April 26.
London 2012 Road Race Route
The release of the cycling schedule comes hot on the heals of the unveiling of the 2012 road race route. This will be 250km for the men and 160km for the women.
The route starts in front of Buckingham Palace and heads South West out of London via two Royal Parks, Richmond and Bushy, and a further Royal Palace, Hampton Court.
The cyclists will roll through Surrey at pace, making light of the hills which many of cycle clubs flock to for their club rides.
Box Hill’s zig-zag lane will be the Alpe d’Huez of the Olympic route. Expect largest crowds, not least because the hill will be climbed consecutively by the men. We can only hope that a rider seizes the moment and chooses Box Hill as their moment for a decisive attack.
From Box Hill it should be a fast return to Central London and the finish on the Mall. Any breakaways should be caught on the road back to town. Expect the pace to be fast, with the prevailing South-Westerly breeze pushing the riders to the line.
Who will win? With over 17 months to go it is far too early to say. However, the “peloton-friendly”, fast route back to London should tee up a sprint finish that the usual suspects from the strong cycling countries (Cavendish, Boonen, Freire etc) should benefit from.
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