Successful test held at London 2012 Olympic mountain bike venue

Successful test held at London 2012 Olympic mountain bike venue

Thousands of spectators watched the world’s best riders compete in the Hadleigh Farm Mountain Bike International earlier.

As part of the London Prepares series, the event allowed the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) to test key aspects of its operations in preparation for next year’s Games.

The sold-out event attracted 5,000 spectators who watched 82 athletes compete at the Olympic Games Mountain Bike venue.

Reigning Olympic champion Julien Absalon from France led from the start and went on to win the men’s race.

Absalon stormed to the finish line a full one minute and 20 seconds ahead of second placed Christoph Sauser from Switzerland, and one minute and 46 seconds ahead of third place rider Austria’s Karl Markt.

In the women’s race, Canadian Catharine Pendrel took the gold after finishing 56 seconds ahead of Georgia Gould from the USA. Third place went to Julie Bresset from France who was one minute and 32 seconds behind Pendrel.

Winner Catharine Pendrel praised the Hadleigh Farm course and the spectators: “I was very happy with how it raced.

“If there were 80 girls on the course the corners would be a little tricky, but it raced really well and the spectators were awesome.”

Debbie Jevans, director of sport at LOCOG, explained how well the event had gone: “This was an incredibly successful event.

“Putting on a test event is vital for us to test key elements of our operations.

”The event went very smoothly today, but we will still learn from the event and listen and work with the athletes to ensure we deliver the best possible Mountain Bike event at the Games next year,” she concluded.