Olympic cycle race will finish at Buckingham Palace

Cyclists are to sprint down The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace in the climax to the London 2012 cycle road race, it was announced today.

Hopes will be high for homegrown success in the opening weekend of the 2012 Olympics with sprint king Mark Cavendish plus Olympic champion Nicole Cooke and Beijing women's time-trial silver medalist Emma Pooley likely to be among the pack.



The men's Olympic race, featuring 145 of the world's top riders, is on the first full day of sport while the 67-strong women's race starts the following day.



The race will begin and finish in The Mall in central London cutting through Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham to cross the River Thames at Putney Bridge.



Richmond is set to be the heart of the race. Riders will speed through Richmond Park, back across the Thames at Richmond Bridge before passing through Bushy Park, Hampton Court Palace and into Surrey.



From Richmond the athletes head off on a large loop through Surrey taking in Walton on Thames, Weybridge, West Byfleet, West Horsley and Dorking.



This is where a "challenging" 15.5km circuit around Box Hill, including the National Trust's Zig Zag Hill, kicks in, according to London 2012.



This loop is repeated several times to help make up the approximately 240km distance for men's race and the 130km course for the women's competition.



The pack then heads back to London through Leatherhead, Esher, Hampton Court, Kingston and Richmond Park before using the same route back to The Mall.



Cavendish, who won his 15th Tour de France stage last year, is already looking forward to his Olympic challenge.



"Competing in a home Olympic Games is a once in a lifetime opportunity," he said.



"To compete in the road race on the opening day of the London 2012 Games in front of home fans is going to be amazing.



"I look forward to checking out the course in detail and to experiencing the well known cycling terrain in Surrey through to the finish on The Mall."



The course, complete with its twisting and turning roads and short climbs, has been set up as a tactical and challenging race for the teams to master so their superstar riders to shine through.



Organisers believe it could be a more tactical event than at other Games.



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York