23 Mar 2011
The riders were joined by Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, Stephen Castle Essex County Council Cabinet Member for 2012 Games and Major John Warner, the Hadleigh 2012 coordinator for The Salvation Army.
Construction of the course began in July 2010, and work on the course is now complete in advance of the Test Event scheduled for 31 July 2011.
The London 2012 Olympic Mountain Biking events will take place at Hadleigh Farm in Essex on 11 and 12 August 2012. Mountain Biking tickets prices range from £20 to £45 with concessions such as Pay Your Age also available. Ticket application process is open until 26 April 2011 at www.tickets.london2012.com.
The venue covers a 550 acre site, encompassing farmland owned by The Salvation Army and the adjacent Country Park. It is being delivered by Essex County Council in partnership with LOCOG.
The 5km circuit is situated on open hillside – a new concept for Mountain Bike events, which are typically held in forested areas. The venue offers some fantastic gradients for Mountain Biking and superb viewing opportunities for spectators: large sections of the course will be visible from many locations across the site. It has been designed to provide a physical and technical challenge for the world’s leading Mountain Bike riders in 2012.
Sebastian Coe, LOCOG Chair, said:
‘I am very grateful to Essex County Council and to The Salvation Army for their hard work in making this venue happen. The course is challenging with multiple climbs and descents for the riders to tackle and I believe that the Mountain Bike competition will be one of the most exciting events at the London 2012 Olympic Games. People can apply for tickets now and are guaranteed to see gold medal winning action for £45 or less.’
The course includes the yet to be named climbs, rocky descents and north-shore timber framed structures which will provide opportunities for riders to take advantage of their technical abilities throughout the races. Multiple options have been created with varying degrees of difficulty at a number of the obstacles where the ability of the riders will be thoroughly tested.
Liam Killeen, from British Cycling GB said: ‘The excitement of competing in a home Games is building fast and seeing the finished course whets the appetite even more. It’s a challenging course that will bring out the best in everyone and should make for a fantastic race for both the riders and spectators.’
Essex County Councillor Stephen Castle, Cabinet Member for the 2012 Games said: ‘I am extremely proud that construction work on the London 2012 Olympic Mountain Bike course has been completed on time. We are committed to delivering a first class London 2012 Olympic discipline and a course that will test the world’s finest Mountain Bike riders. It is fantastic to see the course being tested by members of the GB Cycling Team as we move closer to our Olympic dream becoming a reality.’
The Mountain Bike course is being constructed on land owned by The Salvation Army, which also includes a farm, rare breeds centre and the Hadleigh Employment Training Centre for people with special needs and the long-term unemployed. As Hadleigh Farm is an operating farm the Mountain Biking venue is not open to the public. Trainees who helped to create information display boards about the course were on hand today to help unveil them in the designated viewing area for visitors.
The Salvation Army’s Hadleigh 2012 Project Manager, Major John Warner said: ‘The Salvation Army has been at Hadleigh Farm for more than a century and is delighted to be working with LOCOG, Essex County Council and others to enable the Olympic Mountain-Biking event to take place on Salvation Army land.’