Olympic champions Julien Absalon and Sabine Spitz are among the 104 riders on the start list for the Hadleigh Farm Mountain Bike International, a test event being held on the London 2012 cross country course in 10 days' time on July 31.
Other top names who are due to head to Essex include World Cup series leaders Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing) of Czechand Julie Bresset (BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry) of France, plus a host of homegrown pros. Check out the elite women's start list and elite men's start list.
Taking part a year before the Olympic racing, the Hadleigh Farm International will allow organisers to test the course, admission arrangements, timing, scoring and transportation to ensure the main event goes off without a hitch. Around 5,000 spectators are expected, with tickets still available via Ticketmaster.
The day starts with the women’s race at 11:00 am, when 44 of the world’s top riders will battle it out on the 5.1km course. At 2:00 pm, the men will cross the start line and fight it out for a share of the £4,000 prize fund. David Luckes, head of sport competition for the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG), said spectators can expect "a day of top-level competition".
Gates open at 9:00 am and visitors are being encouraged to use public transport. The nearest railway station is Leigh-on-Sea, from where a free shuttle bus service will take spectators to the venue. There's also a park-and-ride service to Waterside Farm Leisure Centre and a bike park just outside the venue. For more information, visit www.londonpreparesseries.com.
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