The route for the 2012 olympic road race has been announced and I am quite looking forward to it. Originally it was planned to be a boring tour of London’s tourist land marks, that could only have been made marginally exciting if the riders had been forced to complete the course on ‘Boris Bikes‘. But now they are going to send it out into the Surrey Hills and more specifically it is going to go up Box Hill. The Men’s race will do nine laps and the Women’s Race twice.
Now what I find exciting about this is first the fact that Box Hill will hopefully break the race up a bit. It is not a particularly long or even steep hill, at least compared with the mountain climbs in the Tour de France, but by the time they have climbed it nine times at race speeds, even the professionals will be beginning to feel it in their legs. My feeling though is that the long basically flat run in to the finish on the Mall will probably allow the race to come back together again for a spectacular sprint finish.
The second thing that I find exciting is that these are the roads that I ride my bike on. If I go out for a ride without any specific destination in mind I almost invariably end up going up Box Hill. The pros are going to be struggling up the same hills that I struggle up – only they will be struggling up at about three times my pace.
But what I really want to know is will they make it compulsory to stop for a cup of tea and a cake at Allison’s van in the Headley Heath car park? It is a compulsory stop for every other cyclist who rides round the Box Hill loop.