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Police warn mountain bikers to stay away from London 2012 MTB course

Health and safety cited as reason for fencing off Hadleigh Farm circuit

Police in Essex have warned mountain bikers to stay away from the venue of the London 2012 MTB race and not to try and pit themselves against the Olympic circuit at Hadleigh Farm Country Park, with security measures put in place to deter anyone who fancies having a go.

While one of the great things about road cycling is the ease of following the same routes ridden by the pros - since the course of the London 2012 road race was announced, keen riders have been testing themselves on the very roads that next year will see Samuel Sanchez and Nicole Cooke defend their Beijing titles - over in the MTB world, things aren’t so simple.

Essex-based newspaper The Enquirer reports that MTB enthusiasts have been told to stay away from the 5 kilometre circuit, completed earlier this year and described by GB rider Liam Killeen as “very physically demanding,” as a result of health and safety concerns.

Fences have been erected around the course and signs put in place warning of the danger of attempting to ride on it, while wooden barriers have also been put in place at certain points on the circuit itself to act as a further deterrent to would-be riders.

Local police say that with the track designed to meet the demands of Olympic competition, it isn’t safe for park users to ride on and that children should be discouraged from going there, with PS Chris Bramhill saying: . "We don't want anyone getting injured in the run up to the Olympics and we will be patrolling the area at regular intervals."

The newspaper adds that plans are still under consideration for a legacy course to be put in place following next summer’s Olympic Games.

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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