Seb Coe and Michael Day, Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces, at Hampton Court Palace, scene of the London 2012 Olympics time trials.
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Start and finish at Hampton Court Palace
The time trial route for the 2012 London Olympics has been unveiled, with both the men’s and women’s events set to start and finish at Hampton Court Palace in south west London.
The men will race over a 44km course, while the women’s time trial is shorter at 29km, but each event will see the riders tackle some undulating terrain in Surrey before returning to the finish near the Thames. The time trials will take place on Wednesday 1 August 2012, four days after the men’s road race sees the award of one the first gold medals of the Games.
Women’s world time trial champion Emma Pooley was a silver medallist in the discipline in Beijing, and she will be aiming to go one better in London on what believes is an attractive route.
“It is interesting to now know the trial course for London and I’m looking forward to training especially for it,” Pooley said. “Hampton Court Palace is a beautiful part of London and it will be a great event for spectators.”
After departing from Hampton Court Palace, both men’s and women’s events see the riders cross south over Hampton Court Bridge.
The men will take on a loop around Knight Reservoir, before heading along Hampton Court Way towards Burwood Road. After tackling a hilly section in Surrey, the route returns towards London via Cobham and Kingston. The riders must then negotiate a final loop through Bushy Park before the spectacular finish at Hampton Court Palace.
The women’s course misses out on the Knight Reservoir and Bushy Park sections but the riders will face the same route through the Surrey hills as the men.
UCI president Pat McQuaid praised the route as being “both physically and technically demanding.”
Sebastian Coe, chair of the London Olympics organising committee, said that the course would be a success both from a sporting standpoint and as a visual spectacle.
“Hampton Court Palace is a stunning venue that will showcase the area,” said organising committee chair Sebastian Coe. “We have worked closely with the UCI and our partners to ensure that we have the best possible sporting course for the athletes and we are confident of spectacular races and worthy winners.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson lauded the fact that, like the road race, the time trial will bring the Olympics beyond the central areas of the capital.
“This is another great example of how we are bringing events to the outer boroughs of the city so that all Londoners can feel the buzz of the Games,” he said. From the 4,000 year old Bronze Age heritage of Bushy Park, to the Tudor magnificence of Hampton Court Palace, this is a beautiful part of the capital and one that is steeped in history.”
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