Chicago proposes new Olympic cycling venues

Two Wisconsin cities, Madison and Mt. Horeb, are the newly proposed road cycling and mountain biking...

Two Wisconsin cities, Madison and Mt. Horeb, are the newly proposed road cycling and mountain biking venues for the Chicago 2016 Olympic Games bid expected to be submitted to the International Olympic Committee on February 12 according to the Chicago Tribune. The International Cycling Union (UCI) had previously advised those preparing the bid that their first choices for courses were too flat.

In the revised proposal presented at a press conference on Friday, Madison would host the road and time trial courses with the road race consisting of three loops within the city and five outside of it near Blue Mound. The time trial would stay within Madison, and Mt. Horeb's Tyrol Basin ski area would host the mountain bike events. Madison would serve as the Olympic outdoor cycling center, featuring an Olympic village for approximately 320 cyclists at some University of Wisconsin dormitories expected to be built by 2014.

The announcement confirmed rumors from December that the courses would be relocated to an area near Madison. Previously both the road and mountain bike courses were proposed for the host city of Chicago.

Madison and its surrounding comprise a popular cycling area. According to US Census data cited by the Tribune, Madison has the highest number of bicycle commuters per capita for any US city with more than 100,000 workers.

UCI President Pat McQuaid had not yet received formal notification of the proposed course changes, but said that having cycling venues outside of the host city would not be a negative when evaluating the bid. "Sites always are spread out," McQuaid said. "In China, the equestrian (Hong Kong) and sailing (Qingdao) were both far outside Beijing. The most important thing is to have a good course that gives a good race for television and promotes our sport in the region and the area."

The International Olympic Committee will choose the city to host the 2016 Olympic Games on October 2. Chicago is competing with Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro for the privilege of hosting.

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