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Whhops 2012 Organising Committee

spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
edited February 2008 in Pro race
2012 scraps mountain bike course

Olympic chiefs have been ordered to scrap the proposed 2012 mountain biking venue because it is not hilly enough.

Inspectors from the International Cycling Federation (UCI) ruled out the Weald Country Park in Essex as a Games venue after a visit last week.

They told the London Organising Committee (Locog) to find an alternative because the chosen track will not challenge the best riders.

The inspectors will return to Britain in two weeks to view alternative locations but accept the venue must remain in Essex.

Mountain biking experts say that a height difference of around 300 metres from the lowest to the highest point of the course is the minimum required to test the world's best in the sport. The new venue must seat 3,000 spectators.

Epping Forest - considered during the bid - may prove problematic as an alternative because it is crisscrossed by pathways and bridle paths.

The news was broken to Locog in a meeting with the UCI's top mountain biking expert, Peter van den Abeele, and the UCI's director of sport, Olivier Queguiner.

Locog had opted for the 500-acre Weald Park in part because the lakes and tree-lined avenues would have provided a pleasing backdrop for television. The 17th century park is easily reached by the A12 and M25 with rail access from central London.

It was preferred to alternatives in the Chilterns because the International Olympic Committee said it preferred a compact 2012 Games.

Mountain biking became a professional sport in 1990 and made its Olympic debut in the 1996 Atlanta Games. A race is typically run over 40km in six laps and obstacles include trees, rocks and streams.

Locog is also coming under pressure about its choice of other 2012 venues. The British Shooting Federation last month complained about the choice of the Royal Artillery Barracks in Greenwich for shooting events. The federation wants a facility built in Dartford.

Senior British equestrian figures have also broken ranks, saying that their 2012 venue in Greenwich Park is too small. Particular concern surrounds the crosscountry event and an alternative may have to be found.

Two of the five planned temporary sports halls in the Olympic Park in Stratford may be scrapped. Instead fencing could be moved to ExCel and basketball heats to the O2 Arena.

London we have a Problem
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Posts

  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    They want a height difference of around 300m around the course.............in Essex?!? In fact, anywhere in the south of England could be a problem.

    I have a cunning plan - dig a tunnel under Epping Forest - it'll look great on tv!
  • deejaydeejay Posts: 3,138
    Bronzie wrote:
    They want a height difference of around 300m around the course.............in Essex?!? In fact, anywhere in the south of England could be a problem.

    I have a cunning plan - dig a tunnel under Epping Forest - it'll look great on tv!

    Bring back Eastway with a couple of SKI SLOPES maybe ! !
    Organiser, National Championship 50 mile Time Trial 1972
  • drenkromdrenkrom Posts: 1,062
    Isn't this the kind of thing they consider before voting on a host city?
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    drenkrom wrote:
    Isn't this the kind of thing they consider before voting on a host city?

    It's only Mountain Biking, only a small fraction of the total number of events in the Olympics. I'm sure every city that applied would have had a small problem with at least one of the events.
    I like bikes...

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