The London 2012 Olympics MTB XC event will be held at Hadleigh Farm, Essex, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) confirmed today.
The site was chosen following the decision in January 2008 to move the competition away from The Weald Country Park in Essex after a change in requirements for the sport that resulted in the need to identify a more technical and challenging course.
The new venue covers a 550 acre site situated close to the village of Hadleigh, near Benfleet in Essex. The site encompasses the outstandingly beautiful grassland and woodland of Hadleigh Farm, land owned by the Salvation Army, and the surrounding countryside of Hadleigh Castle Country Park.
There are two major hill areas, separated by a valley which will create the technical climbs for the course to challenge the competitors from around the world in less than four years time. The course will be set against the stunning backdrop of the 700-year-old ruins of Hadleigh Castle.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG today said; “It is testament to the hard work of everyone in involved that we have been able to confirm an alternative venue for the Mountain Biking competition only seven months after the venue change was announced.
“In Hadleigh Farm we have a world class venue for Games time with the potential for an excellent facility for elite and community use post Games.”
Peter King, CEO of British Cycling said; “We are delighted that such a stunning alternative venue has been found to host Mountain Biking for the London 2012 Games. With an approximate journey time of 45 minutes to Hadleigh Farm from the Olympic Park, the proximity to the Olympic Village will be of immense value to the Mountain Biking competitors.
“The potential for retaining a Mountain Biking course at Hadleigh Farm is very exciting as the sport is becoming increasingly popular in the UK and we want to build participation through the undoubted surge in interest in the run up to and after the London 2012 Games.”
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