Wiggo and Cav expected to draw huge crowds to Olympic road race

Bigger superlatives needed as whole of Europe heads for Surrey this weekend

by John Stevenson   July 24, 2012  

Bradley Wiggins - image by Brendan A Ryan via Flickr

As the opening big event of the Olympics and one of the few you can actually watch for free, Saturday's men's road race was already expected to be big. After Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France at the weekend, and Mark Cavendish took his fourth consecutive win on the Champs Elysees, the authorities have been forced to revise their crowd estimates up to 'huge'.

Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for community services and the 2012 games, said: “Mark Cavendish could win Team GB’s first gold medal this weekend and just a few days later Bradley Wiggins is tipped to win the time trial, both on Surrey’s roads, so we’re expecting huge crowds.”

Of course (blatant plug warning!) the best place to take in the road race will be a the Surrey Hills Road Race Festival at Denbies Vineyard. There'll be a BBC live screen shwing all the action, and an expo area with 2013 Trek bikes and Thomas Voeckler's own Colnago C59 on display, as organised by er, us.

The festival takes place on 28-29 July at Denbies Wine Estate, just off the A24. It's right next to the route and only a short walk from the Box Hill loop, so there's plenty of opportunities to see the race live. There'll be masses of food and drink available on site too to keep you topped up through a long day of racing.

There's secure bike parking too, if you decide to wander over on two wheels.

Check out the festival website for all the latest news about who's coming and what's happening. As well as that there's a mailing list which we'll use to keep everyone informed about the event. If you want to get updates about the Festival, you can sign up on the event website.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming and Helen Clack says that the council is “urging people to be prepared and plan ahead to enjoy these Olympic events in the county. That will help us minimise the inevitable disruption that staging events of this size will bring.

“It’s a big job. We have to create the biggest venues of the Games from scratch and 42 miles of roadside barriers have already started to be stacked around the road race route.

“There’ll be road closures and parking restrictions along the route on event days, so we’re asking people to avoid driving in the area if at all possible. If you want to catch the action, staying local and walking is the best option.

“Journeys will take longer than usual and public transport will be busier. We’ve provided all the information people need to plan their journeys  in advance at gosurrey.info and we would urge everyone to use it.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to watch Olympic history unfold literally on our doorsteps. With some planning and foresight we can all enjoy it.”

Extensive road closures and parking restrictions will be in place around the race routes from the early hours of the morning this weekend.

Surrey Council says it aims to reopen most roads three hours after the last race vehicle passes. However, it is expected to take longer in areas where there will be larger crowds such as around Dorking town centre, Hampton Court, Leatherhead town centre and Box Hill.

People are being encouraged to use public transport where possible. Extra trains and carriages will be put on but some bus services will be suspended and most trains won’t allow bikes.

Visit www.gosurrey.info for more information on the Olympic Games in Surrey.

22 user comments

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Just leave a little gap on Putney High Street for me and the missus!

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2922 posts]
24th July 2012 - 20:07

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Looks like I'm going to have to resort to using public transport. Train from Guildford to Dorking and then walk to the festival. See you all there.

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [584 posts]
24th July 2012 - 20:31

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jova54 wrote:
Looks like I'm going to have to resort to using public transport. Train from Guildford to Dorking and then walk to the festival. See you all there.

Public transport is going to be a nightmare!

Probably still end up using it though..

The glorious First Capital Connect into Finsbury Park.. tube to Vauxhall... then onto Box Hill and Westhumble train station.

posted by ALIHISGREAT [109 posts]
24th July 2012 - 20:41

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Cycling over from relatives near Arundel, so leave a space for my Tricross please. Father in-law is catching the train there from same location - I bet I'm back at the ranch before him ! #allezteamgb

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

badback's picture

posted by badback [264 posts]
24th July 2012 - 21:38

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LoL @ Gerrard Vroomen:

Quote:
One of the most endearing oddities about cycling is how a few race results can turn into a truism in no time. When Indurain won Giro and Tour in the same year, the Giro was “the perfect preparation” for the Tour. When he stopped riding the Giro and still won, “cycling was too hard ‘in the modern era’ to do both”.

Then Lance proved that you can only win if you have the entire team focused on winning the GC, that you cannot combine GC and sprints in one team. This was further proven by HTC, whose GC riders never got very far. Never mind that their GC riders were always on the second tier to begin with. I’ve said many times I thought this was silly, but it’s been one of the most persistent truisms of the past decade.

Anyway, I would like to propose the following new truism:

To do well on GC, you need a top sprinter on your team.

You see, there are three sprinters who have won three stages each this Tour; Cavendish, Sagan and Greipel. They ride for Sky, Liquigas and Lotto, who occupied positions 1, 2, 3 and 4 on GC in Paris. Therefore, irrefutably, you need guys who win sprints to score on GC. Also note BMC, whose sprinter Hushovd could not participate this year, and we all know what happened to Evans.

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
24th July 2012 - 23:05

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The Official Olympic site has been pretty vague apart from some mention of 'ticketed areas' at Box Hill and The Mall. I was hoping up until stage 7 of the TDF that I would be able to saunter down The Mall at 8.30am on Saturday wave at Cav, Miller etc at the Team GB coach and then grab a spot at the barrier.

Now since Wiggin has gone and ruined it I shall be corralled by a bunch of Hi Vis jobsworths into a kettle of barriers alongside thousands of muppets who've suddenly realised that cycling is 'cool'.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. Wink

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1026 posts]
24th July 2012 - 23:21

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No pleasing some people, is there? Wink

posted by Yennings [205 posts]
25th July 2012 - 7:39

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Lol @ Raleigh, but why's it on this story?

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2922 posts]
25th July 2012 - 9:16

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Guys I've been informed that only 3000 are allowed into Denbies this weekend can you confirm this?

posted by gazzaputt [179 posts]
25th July 2012 - 10:27

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gazzaputt wrote:
Guys I've been informed that only 3000 are allowed into Denbies this weekend can you confirm this?

site limit is 10,000 but there'll be people going in and out all the time

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7252 posts]
25th July 2012 - 11:52

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@ John Stevenson - are you THE John Stevenson - as in, two wheels good / early mbuk fame? (don't worry I am not a stalker!)

On another note, I got to ride a little bit of the course yesterday, albeit about 10 miles. Riding next to the barriers, etc that have been put out got me hearing crowds cheering, etc in my own little mind. Silly

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
25th July 2012 - 12:25

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@Super Domestique - I don't know about THE John Stevenson, but yes, I am that John Stevenson. Hi!

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posted by John Stevenson [962 posts]
25th July 2012 - 13:22

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John Stevenson wrote:
@Super Domestique - I don't know about THE John Stevenson, but yes, I am that John Stevenson. Hi!

That makes you a legend in my book! Brings back great memories of early mbuk issues and a really old mtb video that the name escapes me.

All the best regards mate.

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
25th July 2012 - 13:42

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!

posted by festival [101 posts]
25th July 2012 - 15:46

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jova54 wrote:
Looks like I'm going to have to resort to using public transport. Train from Guildford to Dorking and then walk to the festival. See you all there.

Me too.
I hope what looks like a simple journey on paper is as easy as it looks.

posted by festival [101 posts]
25th July 2012 - 15:48

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Our train leaves Manchester at 5:55am... going to be a long day, the wife has requested a bottle of Pimms in my rucksack!

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2922 posts]
25th July 2012 - 16:12

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festival wrote:
jova54 wrote:
Looks like I'm going to have to resort to using public transport. Train from Guildford to Dorking and then walk to the festival. See you all there.

Me too.
I hope what looks like a simple journey on paper is as easy as it looks.

Where are you going from?

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

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posted by jova54 [584 posts]
26th July 2012 - 9:45

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Quote:- 'There's secure bike parking too, if you decide to wander over on two wheels.'

I managed to get tickets for Box Hill but the mention of secure bike parks has been bandied about a bit, but does anybody know if these secure areas are still requiring me to provide a lock for my bike or indeed how they will work on the day?

I don't want my pride and joy damaging or stealing or having bits nicking from it.

posted by cydonian74 [18 posts]
26th July 2012 - 9:46

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cydonian74 wrote:
Quote:- 'There's secure bike parking too, if you decide to wander over on two wheels.'

I managed to get tickets for Box Hill but the mention of secure bike parks has been bandied about a bit, but does anybody know if these secure areas are still requiring me to provide a lock for my bike or indeed how they will work on the day?

I don't want my pride and joy damaging or stealing or having bits nicking from it.

The secure bike parking is at the Road Race Festival at Denbies, not on box hill. Looks like you'll need your own lock for it - but I'd take the usual precautions of removing bits that aren't lockable etc. It is just a public space, after all...

posted by step-hent [646 posts]
26th July 2012 - 9:50

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Surely someone at this venerable site can let us know what form the secure bike parking takes and whether we need to bring locks? i assumed it would be a system where you were given a wrist band, your bike taken and stored and only returned to whoever-hopefully the owner-appeared with the wrist band.
Come on guys, you must know how it is going to operate Smile

bobinski

posted by bobinski [106 posts]
26th July 2012 - 13:14

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Details are here:

http://www.surreyhillsroadracefestival.com/content/bike-parking-festival...

but it's pretty much exactly like you said. £2 per bike.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7252 posts]
26th July 2012 - 13:38

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Smile
Ta Dave.

bobinski

posted by bobinski [106 posts]
26th July 2012 - 13:55

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