(Images from the event can be downloaded here).
The sold out event attracted 5,000 spectators who watched 82 athletes compete at the Olympic venue over the 4.6km course. With the women completing six laps, and the men seven laps, reigning Olympic champion Julien Absalon from France led from the start to come out on top for the men, and Canadian Catharine Pendrel won the women’s race.
Behind Pendrel was Georgia Gould from the USA who finished 56 seconds behind the Canadian over the 28.1km course. Third place went to Julie Bresset from France who was one minute, 32 seconds behind Pendrel.
In the men’s race Absalon had a comprehensive win finishing one minute, 20 seconds ahead of second place Christoph Sauser from Switzerland and one minute, 46 seconds ahead of third place rider Karl Markt from Austria. British riders Lee Williams, Kenta Gallagher and Paul Oldham finished in 20th, 23rd and 27th respectively.
The event gave international riders the chance to race on the Olympic course for the first time and gave the London 2012 Organising Committe (LOCOG) the chance to test key parts of the event operations including field of play, workforce and transport.
Winner Catharine Pendrel praised the Hadleigh Farm course and the spectators: ”I was very happy with how it raced. If there were 80 girls on the course the corners would be a little tricky, but it raced really well and the spectators were awesome.”
Debbie Jevans, Director of Sport at LOCOG explained how well the event had gone: "This was an incredibly successful event. Putting on a test event is vital for us to test key elements of our operations. The event went very smoothly today, but we will still learn from the event and listen and work with the athletes to ensure we deliver the best possible Mountain Bike event at the Games next year."
Cllr Stephen Castle, from Essex County Council said of the day: “We were delighted to welcome the world’s top riders and the 5000 spectators to our Olympic venue here at Hadleigh Farm. It was a thrilling day of competition and truly spectacular to witness how the elite athletes dealt with the technically challenging course, set against the breathtaking panoramic views of the Thames Estuary. This is fantastic for Essex and this event will put Essex firmly on the map as a great cycling destination”
For more information visit the London Prepares website www.londonpreparesseries.com
For further information, contact email@example.com or call the LOCOG Press Office on 0203 2012 100.
Notes to editors:
The Mountain Bike course sits on Hadleigh Farm, land owned by The Salvation Army since 1891 and home to a working farm, rare breeds centre and the Hadleigh Employment Training Centre. Trainees, who include people with special needs and the long-term unemployed, helped to create information boards on display in the viewing area of the mountain bike course.
Essex County Council and The Salvation Army are committed to delivering a lasting, beneficial legacy at Hadleigh Farm following the London 2012 Olympic Games. Legacy proposals are being developed by Essex County Council and The Salvation Army to ensure that the needs of the local community are met whilst assuring a beneficial legacy for the wider area.
As it heads towards its £2bn budget for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games, LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners - adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now twenty-five domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Aggreko, Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, G4S, GSK, Gymnova, Heineken UK, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, Next, The Nielsen Company, Populous, Rapiscan Systems, Rio Tinto, Technogym, Thames Water, Ticketmaster and Trebor.
There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games Partner, Sainsbury’s and one domestic Tier Three Paralympic Supplier, Otto Bock.
The Worldwide Olympic Partners signed up for London 2012 are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos Origin, Dow Chemical Company, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa.