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London 2012 road races to be held on Olympic Games' opening weekend

Start and finish outside Buckingham Palace with laps of Box Hill also on the route

With just under two years to go till the 2012 Olympic Games, organisers Locog have confirmed that both the men’s and women’s road races will take place on the opening weekend, on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July, respectively.

While the full route is still subject to approval of cycling’s governing body, the UCI, according to a report on the website More Than The Games, the dates have been confirmed by Locog director of sport, Debbie Jeavons.

The website adds that it is expected that the men’s road race will follow a 240km route, and the women’s event 130km. Both will start and finish on The Mall, with Buckingham Palace providing a TV-friendly background, and will head through Kensington & Chelsea on their way to Hampton Court Palace. The route will then take in several laps of Box Hill in Surrey.

The route marks a departure from one originally envisaged by Locog, which comprised a circuit running from Regents Park, up Highgate West Hill and back down through Hampstead, that was rejected by the UCI which reasons including the lack of iconic London landmarks it passed. Most of that circuit had been trialled during the Tour of Britain in 2006, the year after London was awarded the Games.

The provisional schedule for all Olympic events is due to be submitted to the International Olympic Committee this November and the final schedule will be approved early in 2011.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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