2012: Brands Hatch Is Paralympic Road Cycling Venue

Photo: Eight People and a handbike 

Brands Hatch near Sevenoaks, Kent, will host the Paralympic Road Cycling events which will take place from 5 to 8 September 2012.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) announced the venue for the Paralympic Road Cycling events incorporating Road Race and Time Trial.

The riders will race round a course that passes through the Kent county and the district of Sevenoaks in Kent. The former F1 Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch will be the base of approximately half of the course including the start and finish. The remaining race will take place on local roads nearby.

This announcement marks the final venue to be confirmed for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and pays homage to Brands Hatch’s cycling routes, as it first developed in the 1920s as a grass track cycle racing venue.

The course was chosen after extensive consultation with the relevant local authorities and stakeholders to find a route that will provide an outstanding experience for both athletes and spectators. It will also allow LOCOG to use much of the existing venue infrastructure at Brands Hatch and is within approximately one hour’s travel time of the Athletes’ Village on the Olympic Park.

Requirements for the Paralympic Road Cycling course are very precise – the course has to be suitable and challenging for a wide variety of disability groups. The requirements are based on a loop course of 7-10km, which is completed a different number of times based on the event distance. Approximately 25% of the course is uphill sections of not more than 6% gradient and the route includes some challenging bends or technical sections, whilst the road width is adequate to allow for bunch sprints in the finish straight.

During the London 2012 Paralympic Games there will be 32 Road Cycling events for men and women with a range of disabilities including visual impairments, cerebral palsy and amputations competing on bicycles, tricycles, tandems and hand cycles.

225 (155 male and 70 female) athletes from around 40 nations will participate in the Road Cycling events, which will consist of mass start road races ranging from 30km to 120km and individual and team time trials ranging from 20km to 35km.

Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, said: 'This is fantastic news for the people of Kent who will be able to watch some of the world’s greatest Paralympic athletes compete on their doorstep. Brands Hatch is one of the country’s most historic racing venues so I delighted that it will have a role in the UK’s greatest ever sporting event.'; Source: IPC

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