Britain’s Mark Cavendish began the final countdown to his bid for Olympic gold with a gruelling training session on Box Hill today (26 July).
The world road race champion joined Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and his GB team-mates for several laps of the climb in the Surrey heat.
Cavendish will lead Britain’s charge for road race victory on Saturday before Wiggins goes for gold in the time trial on Wednesday 1 August.
Riders from nations including Australia, France, Austria, Canada, Belgium and China also trained on Box Hill, which is set to be key to the outcome of the race.
The men will have to complete nine laps of Box Hill to be in with a chance of road race victory while the women will tackle two.
Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and the 2012 Games, said:
“Cavendish and Wiggins looked relaxed as they tackled several laps of Box Hill in the blazing heat. They definitely looked ready for Saturday. It’s going to be a thrilling race.”
Cavendish’s workout came as the finishing touches were put to the preparations in place to turn Surrey into the largest Olympic venue of the Games.
Mrs Clack said: “Staging the Surrey section of the Olympic cycling events involves 42 miles of roadside barriers, 5,000 traffic cones, 4,000 road signs and 545 road closures. It’s a massive task, but we are ready.
“We’re urging people to be prepared and plan ahead to enjoy these Olympic events in the county. That will help us minimise the inevitable disruption that staging events of this size will bring.
“There’ll be road closures and parking restrictions along the route on event days, so we’re asking people to avoid driving in the area if at all possible. If you want to catch the action, staying local and walking is the best option.
“Journeys will take longer than usual and public transport will be busier. We’ve provided all the information people need to plan their journeys in advance at gosurrey.info and we would urge everyone to use it.
“But we need to remember that the Games have already brought huge economic, cultural and sporting benefits to the county with local firms benefitting to the tune of approximately £1billion. And it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to watch Olympic history unfold literally on our doorsteps. With some planning and foresight we can all enjoy it.”
Visit www.gosurrey.info for more information on the Olympic Games in Surrey.
Journalists requiring more information, can contact Surrey County Council media officer Nicole Herlihy on 020 8541 8039 or email firstname.lastname@example.org