BikeNZ High Performance Road Director Sportif Andy Reid believes next year's London Olympic course will prove technically challenging.
The New Zealand team, led by Julian Dean, were caught behind a major crash three kilometres from the finish with only Ashburton's Jason Christie evading the carnage to finish in the top 15 bunch sprint won by Great Britain's Mark Cavendish.
The field completed the 140km women's course yesterday with just two laps of the Box Hill loop but it was sufficient to give a good indication that it will provide a strong test next year. The men's race will comprise nine circuits around the Surrey Hills course after the initial route out of the city from The Mall, passing Buckingham Palace and the central London landmarks.
"It's a pretty neat course. Technically it will be full-on and that will demand full concentration throughout," Reid said.
"The course can get tight at times and quite often the field were down to single file with the very narrow corners. Placement in the bunch will be critical and I think it is that technical aspect of the course that will make it very tough.
"I think that it is very possible for the elastic to break and a group could get away."
Reid said the course will be extremely challenging if it is wet.
"Overall we got out of it what we wanted. We didn't need the crash because we were travelling well with the group well position to set-up Julian for the sprint finish."
Cavendish produced his trademark sprint along The Mall in London to win from Sacha Modolo (Ita) and Samuel Dumoulin (Fra). The crash also counted out the chances of American sprinter Tyler Farrar and the Australian team with only Stuart O'Grady and Matt Goss getting through.
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