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London 2012 road races to be held on Olympic Games' opening weekend

Start and finish outside Buckingham Palace with laps of Box Hill also on the route

With just under two years to go till the 2012 Olympic Games, organisers Locog have confirmed that both the men’s and women’s road races will take place on the opening weekend, on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July, respectively.

While the full route is still subject to approval of cycling’s governing body, the UCI, according to a report on the website More Than The Games, the dates have been confirmed by Locog director of sport, Debbie Jeavons.

The website adds that it is expected that the men’s road race will follow a 240km route, and the women’s event 130km. Both will start and finish on The Mall, with Buckingham Palace providing a TV-friendly background, and will head through Kensington & Chelsea on their way to Hampton Court Palace. The route will then take in several laps of Box Hill in Surrey.

The route marks a departure from one originally envisaged by Locog, which comprised a circuit running from Regents Park, up Highgate West Hill and back down through Hampstead, that was rejected by the UCI which reasons including the lack of iconic London landmarks it passed. Most of that circuit had been trialled during the Tour of Britain in 2006, the year after London was awarded the Games.

The provisional schedule for all Olympic events is due to be submitted to the International Olympic Committee this November and the final schedule will be approved early in 2011.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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