Two interesting pieces of news relating to the London 2012 Olympic cycling road race that is coming through Surrey this summer:
1. Increase in Spectator Capacity on Box Hill
It has been announced that spectator numbers on Box Hill’s Zig-Zag Road and Donkey Green for the Olympic road race will be increased to a massive 15,000 from the paltry 3,500 allowed during the London-Surrey Cycle Classic test event in summer, but spectators will still have to purchase tickets for these honeypot viewing areas. Other parts of Box Hill will remain free to view as per the majority of the remainder of the route.
It seems pressure from the public, media and cycling organisations on both LOCOG and the National Trust, combined with the apparent ability to now accommodate this number of spectators with minimal or no environmental impact has prompted the increase in numbers.
The BBC also reports that Zig Zag road will be closed for a week whilst the scrub along the sides is removed to enable this increase in spectator numbers and that the road will also be resurfaced in April to prepare for the race.
2. London Cycling Festival from 2013
According to Bike Radar, the Mayor of London has announced that London will host an annual two day cycling festival from 2013 as part of the Olympic legacy.
On day 1, it’s hoped that up to 70,000 cyclists of all abilities will ride an 8 mile route around London on traffic-free roads.
Day 2 is the interesting one though, with a 100 mile sportive planned to start in the Olympic Park and follow a route based on the Olympic road race route. They are anticipating 35,000 cyclists with a mix of abilities taking part in the sportive as a kind of “London Marathon on wheels” and it has been confirmed by the organisers that this will also take place on traffic-free roads. It is, therefore, highly likely that Surrey will play host to at least part of this route with the associated road closures on an annual basis from 2013.