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Olympic mountain biking course takes shape

Olympic mountain biking course takes shape

London 2012 Olympic officials have been keen to point out the excellent progress being made at the mountain biking venue today, with some of key features of the course now in place.

The venue – located at Hadleigh Farm in Essex - covers a 550 acre site, encompassing farmland owned by the Salvation Army and the adjacent Country Park.

The course itself is situated on open hillside - a new concept for mountain bike events, which are typically held in forested areas. It has been designed to provide a physical and technical challenge for the world’s leading Mountain Bike riders in 2012, with rock formations and fantastic gradients on multiple climbs and descents.

Spectators will have superb views of the compact five kilometre circuit, with a large part of the course visible from many places.

Maddie Horton, who won the silver medal at the 2010 British Cross Country Mountain Bike Championships, said: “The course is great – much hillier than I expected.

“I’ve ridden World Cup courses before, and this is definitely up there with the toughest.

“London 2012 is going to be so special, especially seeing as it’s a home Olympic Games.”

A test event will be carried out at the course during 2011

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The course is being delivered by Essex County Council in partnership with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

Construction began in July 2010, with work on schedule to be completed in advance of a test event in summer 2011.

The London 2012 Olympic mountain biking events are scheduled to take place on August 11th-12th 2012, with a plan in place for use of the venue after the Games.

Sebastian Coe, London 2012 Organising Committee Chair, said: “Hadleigh Farm is a stunning venue, in line with our concept of a compact Games and it will have an excellent legacy.

“I am very grateful to Essex County Council and to the Salvation Army for their hard work in making this venue happen.

“The course is shaping up to be a challenging one with multiple climbs and descents. I believe that the mountain bike competition will be one of the most exciting events at the London 2012 Olympic Games.”