re-sized Hadleigh Castle

New mountain bike course announced for London 2012 Olympics

London 2012 organizers announced the replacement site for its mountain biking course, after the original one was deemed too easy.

Organizers said Monday that the new venue will be at Hadleigh Farm, about 60 kilometres east of London. It covers an area of 2.25 square kilometres that includes two major hill areas, separated by a valley which will create the technical climbs.

The course will be near the 700-year-old medieval ruins of Hadleigh Castle.

“It is testament to the hard work of everyone 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,” London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe said. “In Hadleigh Farm we have a world class venue for games time, with the potential for an excellent facility for elite and community use post-games.”

The International Cycling Federation pressed for the switch because the original course at Weald Country Park simply wasn’t hard enough.

Mountain biking was first contested at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

I’ve tried to find a YouTube video of mountain biking from Hadleigh Farm but apparently none exist – instead you’ll just have to put up with this production by livNsurreal which shows some good and extreme action from a Red Bull Rampage event – the action is good but I’m afraid the venue will look nothing like Hadleigh Farm – a long way away from England’s green and pleasant land!!

Somewhat ironically I picked this news up from the Canadian Press – thanks guys.

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