Updated: UCI sanctions one-off race on London 2012 route this August
Test event should draw top riders chasing rainbow jersey in Denmark as well as Olympic gold
World cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has added a one-day race reporetedly following the entire route of the London 2012 Olympic road race to the European Tour section of its 2011 Road Race calendar. Listed in the calendar as Test event Road Cycling London 2012_en ligne the race will be held on August 14. Details of the Olympic road race route were announced yesterday.
The announcement of the route on which the world’s best male and female cyclists will battle it out to succeed reigning champions Samuel Sanchez of Spain and Great Britain’s Nicole Cooke was accompanied by the news that a test event would be held this August.
The event this August won't follow quite the same format as the Olympic race, according to a report in, The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the UCI has confirmed details of that event, which appears likely to be a men’s race with the riders completing three laps of the 15.5km circuit based on Box Hill, instead of the nine laps that will figure in the Olympic race, before heading back into London.
It is hoped that the race will attract some of the world’s top riders – handily, it takes place in the lull between the Tour de France and the Vuelta, and six week’s before the UCI Road World Championships in Denmark, and may therefore serve as perfect one-day race preparation for the pretenders to Thor Hushovd’s rainbow jersey. Interstingly it has been given no classification in the UCI calendar.
Rod Ellingworth, who will be in charge of the men’s road race team at the Olympics, told the Telegraph: “It could be very tactical, quite difficult to control and a pretty exciting race.
"The circuit itself is not overly hard in terms of climbing but it is tricky and narrow and will make the racing very tactical. With a maximum of five riders per team controlling such a race will be a big challenge.
"The finish up the Mall is flat which is pretty encouraging for [Mark] Cavendish and other sprinters and there is a fast run back into London after the circuit which could help reel in any breaks, but about 20km from the finish you start hitting a lot of road furniture and that last section could cause a few problems as well."
As to how many riders Team GB will be able to field in that race, Ellingworth must wait until after the Tour of Lombardy in October and keep his fingers crossed that the country figures in the top ten of the UCI world rankings, which would enable it to field a full complement of five riders come the men’s race in 2012.