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Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 12:48 UK

Essex venue to host 2012 biking

Great Britain's Liam Killeen
Liam Killeen is representing Team GB at the Olympics in Beijing

Organisers have confirmed that Hadleigh Farm in Essex will host the mountain biking events at the 2012 Olympics.

The sport was originally scheduled to be held at Weald Country Park, but it was decided in January that a more challenging course was required.

The new venue covers a 550-acre site and is owned by the Salvation Army.

"We have a world-class venue with the potential for an excellent facility for elite and community use post-Games," said London 2012 chairman Lord Coe.

"It is testament to the hard work of everyone in involved that we have been able to confirm an alternative venue for the mountain biking competition only seven months after the venue change was announced."

The potential for retaining a mountain biking course at Hadleigh Farm is very exciting

British Cycling chief executive Peter King
Existing courses in south Wales had demanded they be considered to host the event, with Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price raising the issue at the Commons, but organisers decided to keep it in Essex.

British Cycling chief executive Peter King said: "We are delighted that such a stunning alternative venue has been found to host mountain biking for the London 2012 Games.

"With an approximate journey time of 45 minutes to Hadleigh Farm from the Olympic Park, the proximity to the Olympic Village will be of immense value to the mountain biking competitors.

"The potential for retaining a mountain biking course at Hadleigh Farm is very exciting as the sport is becoming increasingly popular in the UK and we want to build participation through the undoubted surge in interest in the run up to and after the London 2012 Games."

Mountain biking was introduced at the 1996 Atlanta Games and is staged over a 40-50km (25-31m) course for men and 30-40km (18.5-25m) for women.


see also
Mountain bike course 'too easy'
01 Feb 08 |  London 2012
London 2012 stadium in pictures
07 Nov 07 |  London 2012

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