The Only Way is Essex

2012 mountain bikeThe London 2012 Mountain Bike course has now been completed and unveiled in Hadleigh, Essex. The course, which will be home to the action on August 11 and 12, 2012, will see 80 competitors (50 men, 30 women) battling it out for just two medal events and is set to be one of the most dramatic of two-wheel Olympic undertakings. Mountain Biking has only enjoyed Olympic recognition since the 1990s but has seen a rapid growth in interest and uptake, and this purpose-built 5km course includes 6 major climbs, a number of additional shorter ups and is intended to be a highly technical challenge despite clearly having been designed very much with television coverage in mind.


With little in the way of shade (or indeed any spectator obstructions) the venue should also prove ideal for those who pitch up to watch in person, Lord Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee, has described the site as “one of the most beautiful venues I have seen in the world.” It’s true that the extensive views down across the Thames Estuary, via the petroleum refineries of Canvey Island, to the marshy north coast of Kent are fairly engaging, but Cyclo can’t help thinking that Lord Coe has perhaps not travelled as extensively as his CV might suggest…


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