The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) celebrated the completion of the course at Hadleigh Farm by inviting riders from the GB Cycling team to tackle the course for the first time today.
The Essex-based course will play host to both the men’s and women’s Olympic Mountain Bike competitions on the 11 and 12 August 2012, with a total of 80 cyclists competing for two gold medals.
The venue encompasses farmland owned by The Salvation Army and the adjacent Country Park, and the open hillside setting will offer challenging gradients for riders as well as superb viewing opportunities for spectators.
Construction of the 5km course – which features 500 tonnes of rock – began in July last year, and is ready in time for the test event scheduled to take place this July.
Essex County Council are currently developing a legacy plan detailing how the venue will be used after the 2012 Games.
Sebastian Coe, LOCOG Chair, said: 'I am very grateful to Essex County Council and to The Salvation Army for their hard work in making this venue happen. The course is challenging with multiple climbs and descents for the riders to tackle and I believe that the Mountain Bike competition will be one of the most exciting events at the London 2012 Olympic Games. People can apply for tickets now and are guaranteed to see gold medal winning action for £45 or less.'
The first official Mountain Bike World Championships were held as recently as 1990. Just six years later, cross-country Mountain Bike made its Olympic debut in Atlanta.