A SHOWPIECE cycling event in the London 2012 Olympic Games is set to be moved away from Hampstead and Highgate, to the dismay of residents.
The International Cycling Union wants to move the bulk of the race outside the capital altogether, after the example set by the Beijing Olympics last year.
Catherine Budgett-Meakin, chairwoman of the Highgate Society said: "People will be so disappointed. This would have put us on the map and people all over the world would have seen what an attractive area it is. It is such a suitable venue for this event.”
The original route was set to follow the course of the 2006 Tour of Britain, which went from Regent's Park, through Primrose Hill and Kentish Town, up the daunting Highgate West Hill and around the Heath.
If the route is altered, the area could lose out financially with Whitestone Pond, which was on the original course, due to be given a huge makeover with the Olympics in mind.
A spokeswoman for the London 2012 Organising Committee said: "The road cycling route for the London 2012 Olympic Games was scheduled to go from Regent's Park through Hampstead and Highgate.
"Following the road cycling competition in Beijing in 2008, the International Cycling Union (UCI) has asked the London 2012 Organising Committee to re-examine the route.
"They would like the route to start at a more central part of London and move out of the city. We are in discussions with the UCI about what this route might be and will undergo a full process of consultation about any proposed changes in due course."