London gets the Olympics
Wednesday, July 6, 2005 11.00pm
What's it mean for us?
Today's terrorist attacks have done nothing to dampen our enthusiasm for yesterday's announcement that London will host the Olympics in 2012. OK, mountain biking doesn't get much of look in at the Olympics but for cycling in general, the Olympics will be a great benefit, and hey, if the Olympics encourages a few more kids onto bikes that's got be a good thing right? Who knows, once they've seen the light and started riding, they could end up as the next Steve Peat, Tracey Mosely or Liam Killeen.
So far we know that the MTBing will be held at Weald Country Park in Essex, just a short train journey from the main Olympic Village in East London. We've raced XC there in the past and although there's nothing super gnarly there, there should certainly be enough to produce a good race. By our calculations Liam Killeen should be 30 by the time of the Oympics - just about the age athletes reach their peak - so assuming he's still fit and riding at the top level, he could be a very real potential medallist.
Back nearer to the Olympic village a £22m Veloark is scheduled to be built. This will consist of a Velodrome, a BMX track and road and MTB routes which local riders will be able to use all year round. Currently on the site is the venerable Eastway circuit which hosts weekly grassroots XC races throughout the summer, attracting over 150 riders every Wednesday evening. The new facility sounds amazing so should prove even more popular with riders of all abilities.
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