Page last updated at 19:49 GMT, Monday, 23 June 2008 20:49 UK

'Move cycling to mountains' call

Woman riding mountain bike
Wales has the mountains that Essex lacks, says Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price

A Plaid Cymru MP has called for the 2012 Olympic mountain biking event to be switched to Wales because it offers an "essential requirement" - mountains.

Plaid's sports spokesman Adam Price has questioned public money being spent on building a new track in Essex.

Cycling experts had criticised an earlier proposed course in the county for not being challenging enough.

Mr Price said any event should instead be held at the "excellent" facilities at Margam, near Port Talbot.

Mountain biking was introduced at the 1996 Atlanta Games and is staged over a 40-50km course for men and 30-40km for women.

The Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP said Wales, with Scotland and parts of England, already had "international standard" courses and tracks.


At Commons question time Mr Price said: "Given the fact that international standard cross country mountain bike tracks are in Wales, Scotland and the North and the West, why is public money being used to create a new track in Essex which lacks one of the key essential requirements for mountain biking - mountains?"

Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe told him: "I understand there are few hills in Essex.

"But you make a fair point in that we need to try and make sure the recent review of Sport England works.

"That is to talk to the governing bodies of sports so when they deliver their plans ... they will include the benefit of everybody in different types of sport."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific