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Rio Olympic road race test event goes ahead despite protests

Ben Swift spearheads GB challenge this weekend, Lizzie Armitstead to recce course

Organisers of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games have altered the course of this weekend’s road race test event due to a protest against the country’s president, Dilma Rousseff, on Copacabana beach where the event was due to finish.

The event, which includes a Great Britain team led by Team Sky’s Ben Swift, will still start there but will begin an hour earlier than scheduled at 8.30am local time, reports the website Inside The Games.

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

The Brazilian city’s Department of Transportation has also moved the finish line further west to São Conrado.

Rio’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, said: “If we finish the event at the site of the demonstrations it would not be convenient. It would not be good for the demonstrations or for the event.”

According to the website, this weekend’s protests are not directly connected to the Olympic Games and are linked to allegations of corruption against the president as well as the economic crisis and devaluation of the Brazilian Real.

British Cycling confirmed to road.cc that besides Swift, Great Britain will be represented by the Madison-Genesis pair of Tristan Robbins and Joe Evans, plus One Pro Cycling’s George Harper.

Lizzie Armitstead, who took silver behind Marianne Vos of the Netherlands at London 2012, will also be in Rio to recce the course.

Simon joined road.cc 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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