The London 2012 Olympics have scheduled two road cycling events. Participants include 145 men and 67 women with a desire to compete for Olympic gold. These cyclists are among the best in the world and qualified based on Olympic trial runs. The main Road Race is a standard race in which all participants start at the same time and the first cyclist to cross the finish line wins. The Time Trial is a shorter race with participants starting at a 90-second interval. Participants start at 90-second intervals to make the race fair by providing each cyclist with their own space to compete in. The very first Road Race occurred in Athens in 1986. The original race was a considerably shorter 87 kilometers and started and ended in Athens. Major gold contenders from the men’s and women’s events to watch are Nicole Cooke and Mark Cavendish. Cooke is defending her 2008 gold medal from the Beijing Olympic Games.
The Road Race starts at The Mall, which traditionally served as a ceremonial route. Since then The Mall has maintained its place as the premiere center to hold a formal event for weddings and ceremonies. Although, major sporting events are also held at The Mall, including the London Marathon. The Mall starts at Buckingham Palace on the west side of London and ends at Trafalgar Square on the east end. The men’s and women’s races begin at the same time. Though, the men’s race extends 240 kilometers while the women’s race extends 140 kilometers. Riders involved in the event ride over the Thames River and pass Hampton Court Palace. Men must complete a challenging loop around Box Hill nine times, while women complete the loop twice. Spectators can watch by lining the path of the race.
Hampton Court Palace: Time Trial
Hampton Court Palace has housed some of England’s most famous kings and queens, including Henry VIII. The Road Cycling Time Trial circles around the palace on designated roads. Both the men’s and women’s Time Trial event starts at the palace. Hampton Court is located in the southwest of London in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.
American Cyclist to Watch
Chris Horner after winning the Sierra Road stage at the Tour of California is a cyclist to watch in the upcoming Tour de France. Sponsored by RadioShack he has a strong possibility to win, if not come in at the top of the race results. Although he is not the leader of the team, there is a good chance for him to come through and successfully out the other opponents. Though considered a long shot, he promises to give a strong, cerebral race.