Shock Revelation-Essex is Flat

Olympic chiefs have been ordered to scrap the proposed 2012 mountain biking venue because it is not hilly enough. UCI bigwig Peter Van Den Abeele ruled out  Weald Country Park in Essex as a Games venue after a recent visit.  They told the London Organising Committee (Locog) to find an alternative because the chosen course is too flat to test top riders.
The inspectors will return to Britain in two weeks to view other locations but have apparently accepted that the venue must remain in Essex. As the experts are said to believe  that a height difference of around 300 metres from the lowest to the highest point of the course is the minimum required for top competions they may have a problem as the highest point in Essex is about 150 metres. They also say the venue must seat 3,000 spectators. How crazy is that? I would guess that the finish line stand at the World Champs typically seats about 500 which contains mainly the “Blazers” who have attended the UCI annual conference. Fans won’t be in the seats at the Olympics and I can’t believe they are expecting 3000 “guests” and hangers-on to show up.
Epping Forest is a possible alternative but it is crisscrossed by pathways and bridle paths and who’s to say how much wildlife would be disturbed. If they have to close bridlepaths I guess they should have started the process about five years ago.
The news was broken to Locog in a meeting with the UCI’s top mountain biking expert, Peter van den Abeele, and director of sport, Olivier Queguiner.
Locog had opted for the 500-acre Weald Park partly because the lakes and tree-lined avenues would provide nice pictures for television and is easily reached by the A12 and M25 with rail access from central London. It was preferred to alternatives in the Chilterns (where there are serious hills) because the International Olympic Committee prefers a compact Games.
Is it bad of me to relish every cock-up and disaster that surrounds these appalling games?  If Paris had won the UK would have saved £10 billion (and rising) and anybody stupid enough to want to go could have got there by Eurostar in two hours.

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