World class Mountain Bike set for Essex

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Updated: July 22, 2011

World class Mountain Bike line-up comes to Essex one year before the Olympic Games

Days after marking one year to go until the start of London 2012 Olympic Games, 104 of the world’s best cross country mountain bikers will get the chance to test the Olympic course at the Hadleigh Farm Mountain Bike International – the test event for the London 2012 Mountain Bike competition and part of the London Prepares Series.

On Sunday 31 July, 5000 people are set to enjoy a thrilling day of mountain biking at the Hadleigh Farm Mountain Bike International. The day starts with the Women’s competition at 11.00 with 44 of the world’s top female riders battling out on the 5.1km course. At 14.00 60 competitors will then tackle the course in the Men’s competition as they fight it out for top spot.

The line-up for the Olympic test event includes Beijing 2008 Olympic Gold medallists Sabine Spitz (GER) and Julien Absalon (FRA). Absalon was also Olympic Champion in Athens 2004. The line-up also includes World Cup series leaders Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE) and Julie Bresset (FRA), plus Rwanda’s first ever Mountain Biker Adrien Niyonshuti. British riders include Maddie Horton in the Women’s race and the Men’s line-up includes Lee Williams and Kenta Gallagher.

The test event gives riders their first chance to competitively race on the purpose built Olympic course. This will also be the only chance for many mountain bike fans to view the Olympic course and take in breathtaking panoramic views of the Thames Estuary. Spectators will be able to move around the venue to access different parts of the course and witness riders tackle the technical features which include Leap of Faith, The Rabbit Hole and The Breathtaker.

David Luckes, Head of Sport Competition at London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) said of the Hadleigh Farm Mountain Bike International: “Excitement is high about getting the opportunity to test the Mountain Bike course at Hadleigh Farm, and also about the high standard of competitors the event has attracted. Spectators from both the local area and the mountain bike community are in for a day of top level competition.”

Essex County Councillor Stephen Castle said: “I’m really looking forward to welcoming the World’s top riders, mountain bike fans and local community to the Olympic venue at Hadleigh Farm. Spectators will get the chance to see elite competitors in action against the stunning backdrop of the Thames Estuary and after an enjoyable event, leave knowing that Essex is a great cycling destination.”

At the Hadleigh Farm Mountain Bike International, LOCOG is specifically testing the race course, venue admission, timing, scoring and transportation.

Spectators are being encouraged to travel to the event by public transport. The nearest station is Leigh-on-Sea and a free shuttle bus service will take spectators from the station to the venue. There is also a park-and-ride service to Waterside Farm Leisure Centre and a bike park just outside the venue.

For more information including details on transport and road closures visit the London Prepares website www.londonpreparesseries.com

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For further information, contact betony.garner@london2012.com or call the LOCOG Press Office on 0203 2012 100.

Notes to editors:

The Hadleigh Farm Mountain Bike International schedule is as follows.
09:00 – 10:00 Gates open to spectators to watch final practice
11:00 – 12:45 Hadleigh Farm Mountain Bike International – women
13:00 – 13:15 Presentation ceremony – women
14:00 – 15:45 Hadleigh Farm Mountain Bike International – men
16:00 – 16:15 Presentation ceremony – men

Hadleigh Farm includes land owned by The Salvation Army since 1891 and the adjacent Hadleigh Country Park. Hadleigh Farm is also home to a working farm, rare breeds centre and the Hadleigh Employment Training Centre. Trainees, who include people with special needs and the long-term unemployed, helped to create information boards on display in the viewing area of the Mountain Bike course.

Essex County Council and The Salvation Army are committed to delivering a lasting, beneficial legacy at Hadleigh Farm following the London 2012 Olympic Games. Legacy proposals are being developed by Essex County Council to ensure that the needs of the local community are met whilst assuring a beneficial legacy for the wider area.

As it heads towards its £2bn budget for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games, LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners – adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now twenty-five domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Aggreko, Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, G4S, GSK, Gymnova, Heineken UK, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, Next, The Nielsen Company, Populous, Rapiscan Systems, Rio Tinto, Technogym, Thames Water, Ticketmaster and Trebor.

There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games Partner, Sainsbury’s and one domestic Tier Three Paralympic Supplier, Otto Bock.

The Worldwide Olympic Partners signed up for London 2012 are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos Origin, Dow Chemical Company, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa.

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