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Olympic road race courses changed to start and end at Rio's Copacabana Beach

UCI president Brian Cookson says changes “will deliver a fantastic spectacle for cycling fans”

The route of next year’s Olympic road races have been changed to enable the events to start and finish at Rio de Janeiro’s world-famous Copacabana Beach.

The proposed routes of the races were confirmed last month but have now been amended to cater for the new start and finish, which UCI president Brian Cookson says “will deliver a fantastic spectacle for cycling fans.”

He said: “The UCI has been working in close collaboration with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and Mayor Paes and we welcome the modifications to the Road Race route which will now start and finish at the renowned Fort Copacabana.

“The combination of the stunning scenery and the stern challenge that the Road Race and Time Trial courses will provide will deliver a fantastic spectacle for cycling fans and we’re looking forward with anticipation and excitement to the start of the Games.”

The news was communicated in a press release from the UCI, which appears below.

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is pleased to confirm that the Men’s and Women’s Rio 2016 Olympic Road Race course has been adapted and will now start and finish at the Fort of the iconic Copacabana beach.

With a combination of steep climbs and descents and long flat coastal sections, the Road Race will pass through some of the most picturesque parts of the city including the start/finish in Copacabana, as well as Ipanema, São Conrado, Barra da Tijuca, Grumari and Vista Chinesa. The total race distance is 256.4km for men and 130.3km for women.

The route will also take in the Grumari circuit with a steep climb and a 2km cobble stone section. Then return towards Copacabana with a challenging circuit that climbs and descends through the stunning Tijuca Forest and passes the Vista Chinesa monument, one of the best landscape viewpoints in Rio.

The Men’s race will take place on Saturday 6th August with the Women’s race taking place on Sunday 7th August.

The 29.8km Time Trial route will also pass through the beaches and forests of the Grumari countryside in the picturesque Pontal region in thewest of the city.

The Time Trial will start and finish at Praça Tim Maia at Pedra do Pontal and will include a 1.2km hill climb. The new facilities, which will be used exclusively for the Time Trial event, will be at the heart of the Olympic action and the
temporary venue is one of 15 to be located in the Barra Zone.

The men’s race will complete two laps of the course (totalling 54.5km) while the women’s race will complete one lap of the same course.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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