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Page last updated at 14:12 GMT, Wednesday, 23 March 2011

London 2012 Olympics mountain bike site opened


Coe labels Hadleigh 'absolutely stunning'

The Hadleigh Farm mountain bike venue for the 2012 Olympics has been completed on time and on budget.

Work on the Essex site, which is owned by the Salvation Army, began in July 2010 and has been finished in time for a test event on 31 July this year.

The course will host two days of mountain biking during the London Games, on 11 and 12 August.

"It's a challenging course that will bring out the best in everyone," said Great Britain's Liam Killeen.

"The excitement of competing in a home Games is building fast and seeing the finished course whets the appetite even more."

Hadleigh Farm's open setting is unusual in mountain biking, with most tracks being built in forested areas.

I believe that the mountain bike competition will be one of the most exciting events at the London 2012 Olympic Games

London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe

The course, which was initially set for nearby Weald Country Park until organisers decided they wanted a more challenging layout, consists of 500 tonnes of rock and 3,500 tonnes of crushed stone and was delivered by London 2012 in partnership with Essex County Council.

London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe added: "I am very grateful to Essex County Council and to the Salvation Army for their hard work in making this venue happen.

"The course is challenging with multiple climbs and descents for the riders to tackle and I believe that the mountain bike competition will be one of the most exciting events at the London 2012 Olympic Games."

Killeen was joined by GB team-mates David Fletcher, Kenta Gallagher and Lily Matthews for a test run of the course on Tuesday.

Mountain biking ticket prices range from £20 to £45, with concessions such as Pay Your Age also available.

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