Cyclists Test London Paralympic VenueMore than 150 para-cyclists had the opportunity to train at the Brands Hatch London 2012 venue this week in London. 20 Jun 2012
“Paralympic Cycling is a truly incredible sport and what we have seen here today has given an exciting taste of the dynamic, challenging and interesting sport we can expect to see in a few months."
More than 150 Road Race and Time Trial Para-Cycling athletes trained at Paralympic venue Brands Hatch Circuit on Tuesday (19 June), as LOCOG, organizers and national teams took the chance to test the place ahead of the Paralympic Games.
Twenty-six national teams trained at the venue, taking advantage of the unique opportunity to familiarise themselves with the 8km course which starts and finishes at the racetrack at Brands Hatch and runs through Kent county and the district of Sevenoaks in Kent.
Athletes and team staff got to grips with the carefully chosen venue and course which is specifically designed to provide a suitable and challenging race circuit for the many and varied classified race categories. London 2012 staff and volunteers used the day to test their Games time operations and processes including transport, accreditation, technology, timing and workforce.
Chris Holmes, LOCOG Director of Paralympic Integration said: “As some of the world’s greatest cyclists prepare here today with just 70 days to go, I’m delighted that we’re bringing the Paralympic Games to Kent this summer. With tickets now on sale for the best view of the races and medals available on every day of competition, I recommend that everyone take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to see sport like never before in the garden of England."
Debbie Jevans, London 2012 Director of Sport said: “Paralympic Cycling is a truly incredible sport and what we have seen here today has given an exciting taste of the dynamic, challenging and interesting sport we can expect to see in a few months. It was very important that we created an opportunity for these world class athletes and staff to see the venue, test the course and look around the venue at which they will challenge for medals in September.”
At Games time, the venue, will host up to 225 athletes, 155 men and 70 women across Road Cycling from 5 - 8 September.
At the Beijing Games in 2008 Great Britain took home five of the 23 gold medals available, with David Stone, Sarah Storey and Darren Kenny – the most successful Paralympic cyclist ever - among the team’s stars. In Brands Hatch this summer the likes of Czech world champion Jiri Jezek and Italian former F1 driver Alex Zanardi will be hoping to challenge for a place on the podium.
The 8km circuit at Brands Hatch is completed a different number of times based on the event distance and the athlete’s racing category. Approximately 25 per cent of the course is contains uphill sections, with a gradient of up to six per cent.
The route includes some challenging bends, turns and technical sections. Unlike most road cycling events, the final 1km of the circuit unfolds in front of the spectators, providing a unique experience for those lucky enough to have secured tickets to what will surely be one of the genuine surprise packages of the Paralympic Games.
Brands Hatch is an internationally-renowned motor racing circuit near Sevenoaks in Kent. Once used as a dirt track motorcycle circuit on farmland, it hosted 12 British Formula One Grand Prix between 1964 and 1986 and currently holds many British and international racing events.