At least LOCOG is consistent. Nothing concerning the Olympics ever seems to go right. Last week, it was the sale of tickets for the road races and time trials that left bike race fans fuming after the website and phone lines struggled to cope with demand.

The Ticketmaster system was supposed to be able to cope with up to 250,000 online at the same time but instead struggled to process less than 40,000 requests.

Like too many other applicants, we found ourselves in a 15-minute queue immediately after the tickets went on sale, but then, most frustratingly, once we were lucky enough to get through to the payment screen, we were told that we had been unsuccessful, even after entering our credit card details.

We fared slightly better with the ticketing phone line, but only after 14 aborted calls.

What a shambles. Ticketmaster normally copes with much bigger volumes, such as music events, without problems. If it works for Take That, why not cycling?

This hasn’t been the Olympic experience I was expecting. I naively imagined the road events would be a huge, free spectacle for everyone to enjoy, like the Tour de France Grand Départ a few years ago, only better.

Instead, the majority of us are shut out of the best vantage points. What a wasted opportunity to showcase bike racing at its best to the masses.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

  • w.warburton

    tried to get tickets for box hill .they took all my details then zilch, complete b—-s up!
    wrong type of course for cav, another b up.
    tried to get tickets early on for my other sport-table tennis ,they wanted £125 to see 2 matches only, another b—s up and rip off.
    hope roads are quiet during rip off games cos thats were i will be.
    can you imangine if they tried this at the tdf what would happen, the fans would not allow the race to start.
    true cycling fans shoul protest vigourously at locog for the shambles it has created from start to finish of this olympics.

  • ben ebdon

    Remember that there are free places to watch the road races that are possibly better than the officialy ticketed areas. For example, theres the ZICO Box Hill Festival of Cycling inside the loop they do a number of times and a big screen at the surrey hills cycling festival @ Denbies (not in the loop or directly on the route, but probably a very good event)

  • dai bananas brother

    Dai’s missus says that one thing about the Olympics which is working is the Torch Relay, which was brilliant when it pased thriough down by here and has been brilliant everywhere else. As you don’t have to pay to see it, maybe that’s way.
    She also says that if you want to give an arm and a leg to see the Road Race, turn up at the Old Arcade pub in Cardiff with a monkey in readies and Jimmy the Fish will sort a few tickets out for you. The time to come is July 25, just before the football match over at the Milenium, that’s when the deals will be done.

  • Robin Rance

    I too came very close to giving up on the internet sale.It took five attempts over an hour, each time my sale being aborted after the payment screen. Even after the final attempt I was still unsure I’d actually been successful, until I received an email receipt confirmation.

    Now it’s become even more confusing and frustrating.
    The tickets arrived today. Inside is a “wealth” of information,including advice to
    1. “bring a picnic and make a day of it” despite there being a ban on liquids over 100ml (although the London2012 link to this page cannot be found) and not to bring excessive amounts of food. Define excessive, I’m going to be at Donkey Green for the whole day.
    2. “being an outdoor event ensure you have appropriate clothing”, though umbrellas are prohibted (actually thats a good thing fpor line of sight, but you can only carry a small bag soft sided bag that can fit on your lap. So where do I put my wet weather gear, in fact where do I put my picnic?
    3. “Plan travel in advance, if driving make use of our park and ride”, well this sounds like a great plan as despite living 45mins away by car, by train it’s nearer a 3 hour journey each way. However on the London2012 website theres no option to advance book park and ride.

    Will this nightmare ever end?

  • Morgan Rees

    Hear hear!