Surrey buzzing at news of Olympic road race routes

Box Hill likely to be the prime spectating spot

by Mark Appleton   February 16, 2011  

Box Hill, Surrey by lostajy.jpg

There’s nothing like a world sporting spectacle taking place on your doorstep to fire the enthusiasm and according to Redhill and Reigate Life, the locals in Surrey have already caught the Olympic road race buzz.

On the weekend of July 28 and 29 next year the men’s and women’s events will head south west out of central London via Richmond Park, crossing over the M25 near Woking before making a loop through the Surrey countryside with additional loops up and over Box Hill.

Around a million people are expected to line the route offering a potential bonanza to local traders.

Adam De Save, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council executive member for leisure and wellbeing, told R&R Life: “The events will provide a huge boost to the economy, and focus the eyes of the world on Surrey during the opening weekend of the Olympic Games in July 2012.

“It is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for residents to be able to witness these events almost on their own doorstep.”

John Leitch, founder of the Redhill Raiders Junior Cycle Squad, said: “It's a big, long course starting and ending in London, but by the time they get to us, they will do this little ten-mile loop, taking in Box Hill about ten times.

“So, the beauty for us is we can take a roadside position and see them coming past several times, which is quite splendid. It will be quite inspiring for the kids if they get that view.”

Adrian Webb, chairman of Redhill Cycling Club, said: “Our position is that we are the only club that can claim it home turf, and we go to Box Hill virtually every weekend.

“We are going to offer our services as the club that knows the area and we are going to offer our services as marshals.

He told the R&R Life that he thought Box Hill would become a magnet for cyclists in the run-up to the Olympics and a popular spectating point on the race days.

“I imagine you won't be able to see much of the hill,” he said.