London-Surrey Cycle Classic due to go ahead as planned on Sunday despite rioting

Unrest coincides with national Olympic committee delegates and IOC members visiting 2012 host city

by Simon_MacMichael   August 9, 2011  

London 2012 logo union flag.jpg

LOCOG, organisers of next year’s Olympic Games in London, have confirmed that this weekend’s road cycling test event, the London-Surrey Cycle Classic, should go ahead as scheduled despite the rioting that has erupted this week in some parts of the capital.

The race is due to start at 9am on Sunday on The Mall before heading out through the suburbs of South West London to the Surrey Hills. It will then head back into the centre of the city before finishing on The Mall a little after noon.

“A lot of detailed work has taken place regarding security plans for the games and we will continue to review them together with the Met Police and the Home Office over the coming year,'' said LOCOG in a statement.

While tomorrow evening’s planned friendly international football match at Wembley has been postponed as a result of the disorder in London, another Olympic test event, beach volleyball, is curretly taking place on Horse Guards Parade, although the timings of matches have been brought forward by several hours.

British Olympic Association spokesman Darryl Seibel, speaking to Sky TV, said that he hoped that the Olympics would prove to be a unifying force.

"It [the rioting] makes an Olympic Games and a Paralympic Games all the more important,'' he explained, as quoted on Fox Sports.

''We need a reason to come together. What better city to do it in than London. This is not a reflection of London, this is a reflection of the world we live in today.''

Fox Sports also reported that Olympic delegates from around the world are currently meeting in London to assess the city’s preparations for next year’s games, with chefs de mission from more than 200 national Olympic committees due to tour venues tomorrow, including at the Olympic Park, close to areas such as Hackney and Leyton where there has been unrest.

''We know that security has been a top priority in the planning and preparation for London 2012, and we have full confidence in the work being done to prepare for the games,'' added Seibel.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials are also in London for a scheduled meeting with LOCOG.

''Security at the Olympic Games is a top priority for the IOC,'' spokesman Mark Adams commented to AP. ''While we are not responsible for security, we're happy with how local organisers are dealing with the issue and we are confident they will do a good job.''