Sunday’s London-Surrey Cycle Classic will simultaneously offer a glimpse of 2012’s road race, a trial run for those vying for gold, and a never-to-be-repeated chance to upset the big boys for Britain’s smaller racing teams.

The British and the Australians are the two nations that have sent their strongest line-ups, with the home riders boosted by the presence of an England squad as well as a British one.

The race’s course is a shortened version of the one planned for 2012, and will cover two laps of the Box Hill circuit as opposed to nine. With a long run-in to the finish line from Box Hill, the actual Olympic route is being tipped as one for the sprinters and this should be all the more true for Sunday’s race, with so much climbing not included.

The overwhelming favourite is Mark Cavendish (Great Britain), who will undoubtedly be keen to get a taste of victory on The Mall. However, there will be no shortage of riders keen to cause an upset in such a prestigious location.

The Australians have included Matt Goss and Heinrich Haussler in their squad, and either of those riders have the speed to cause Cavendish problems. The strength of their team, which includes Olympic track medalist Stuart O’Grady and Team Sky’s Chris Sutton, will without doubt provide them with a strong lead-out.

Tom Boonen will be representing Belgium and, although he is not as quick as he used to be, he should be in the mix on The Mall.

Other big names include Sylvain Chavanel and Romain Feillu (both France) and Tyler Farrar (USA).

For many British teams, Sunday represents the biggest race they will ever enter. For minnows Corley Cycles and the race is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make an impact at a level of the sport they would not normally get close to.

Britain’s UCI Continental teams such as Rapha-Condor-Sharp, Endura and Motorpoint will also be relishing the opportunity to cause a big upset, and the stronger domestic riders such as Ian Bibby (Motorpoint) and Ed Clancy (Rapha-Condor-Sharp) will be hoping to make some impact on proceedings.

Unfortunately, the Olympic road race, and Sunday’s race with it, has also been mired in controversy after organisers declared the Box Hill climb effectively off-limits to the public (more information below).

London-Surrey Cycle Classic: Route
Sunday’s route covers 140km from The Mall, out into Surrey and back again.

It heads out of London over Putney Bridge and through Richmond Park, before heading north of the Thames and running southwards to Hampton Court. It then runs south through Weybridge, Woking and Guildford, and turns east towards Dorking.

From Dorking, the race does two laps of the ‘Box Hill loop’, which heads up the Box Hill Zig-Zags climb and loops round the top of the hill before descending to Leatherhead.

The lengthy and flat run-in takes the race back to Hampton Court, from where it approaches Richmond Park from the south before returning to The Mall on the same roads it left London on. 

London-Surrey Cycle Classic route map2012 Olympic Games cycling road race route map detail
Click on the maps to enlarge in a new window

Timings (+ or – fifteen minutes)
–   The Mall – start 09:00 and finish 12:10
–   Fulham – 09:05 and 12:05
–   Putney – 09:10 and 12:00
–   Richmond Park – 09:15 and 11:55
–   Richmond – 09:20
–   Bushy Park – 09:30
–   Hampton Court Palace – 09:35 and 11:40
–   Walton-on-Thames – 09:45
–   Ripley Village – 10:05
–   Gomshall – 10:25
–   Westcott – 10:30
–   Dorking – 10:35
–   Box Hill – between 10:40 and 11:20
–   Esher – 11:35
–   Kingston  upon Thames – 11:50

Restrictions and Box Hill access
Readers are advised that access to Box Hill is severely limited, with the only specified wristband-holders allowed onto the Zig-Zags. Other areas are restricted by capacity. The only Box Hill area not restricted is a stretch of the A24 by Leatherhead.

With the Zig-Zags area fenced off, access for those with wristbands is via the Zig-Zags turning at the bottom of the hill.

London-Surrey Cycle Classic: TV Details
Highlights will be shown on BBC the weekend after the event. Details to follow.

London-Surrey Cycle Classic: Teams and leaders
Australia (Goss, O’Grady, Haussler)

Belgium (Boonen, De Weert)

Canada (Meier) (Gallagher)
Endura (Wilkinson, Blain)

England (Hunt, R. Downing)
France (Feillu, S. Chavanel)
Great Britain (Cavendish, Swift)
Ireland (Brammeier)
Italy (Paolini, Ulissi)
Japan (Arashiro)
Motorpoint (Bibby, McEvoy)
Norway (Kristoff, Arvesen)
New Zealand (Dean)
Poland (Golas, Kwiatkowski)
Team Raleigh (Cronshaw, Fleeman)
Rapha-Condor-Sharp (Clancy, House)
Sigma Sport (Richardson, Murray)
AN Post (Fenn, Eeckhout)
Slovenia (Bozic, Brajkovic)

Twenty 3c-Orbea (Six, Rodriguez)
USA (Farrar)
Team Corley Cycles (Gaywood)

Related Links
London-Surrey Cycle Classic training photo gallery
Box Hill set for London-Surrey Cycle Classic
Box Hill declared limited access for Olympic RR
Stars line up for Olympic Road Race Test Event

  • Emilie

    Can you tell me when the highlights are being shown for the London-Surrey cycle classic? Your article said on BBC but there were not any details listed?

  • peter mercier

    @ roger harper

    i too am amazed there is no TV. i just watched the race pass my house and wanted to see the finish on TV. nothing. not even red-button or online.

    it appears no-one will have video pix. in all the cars & support vehicles that sped past before and after the cyclists – there seemed no TV cameras.

  • Gareth Nutt

    The reason they are restricting access to box Hill has nothing to do with administrative wrangling. The place is a site of special scientific interest and they simply cannot allow thousands of people onto it to trample the rare plants and wildlife. I am a keen cyclist and I do the box hill route every week, but totally understand why they have had to do what they have done. Watched it in headily today and was great.

  • arronski

    Who will be the BOX HILL FEW hehehe !

  • Martin Winson

    Back in the 60’s my training runs often took in Box Hill so I was excited at the prospect of the worlds elite riders taking it in as part of the Olympic Road Race… probably would have gone along to see. But I understand the environmental concerns raised. Perhaps a different route should have been taken. I feel too much consideration has been given to the elite few allowed view this and the look of helicopter shots. Surely one of the big attractions of cycle racing over other sports is that it is free to view and the crowds add to the spectacle and drama. As it is the riders will complete nine lonely circuits to the sound of motorbikes and helicopters rather than cheering crowds. Anyway lets hope those few allowed on Box Hill are true cycling fans and there is NO corporate hospitality.

  • Roger Harper

    Can anyone through some light on why there appears to be no live TV coverage on possibly the most important road race in Briatain this year?


    Will this be televised live? Come off it – this is Britain. If Cav wins auntie beeb might just show a clip at the fag end of the news, I suppose.

  • arronski

    British sport organisers still don’t get road race cycling …….(it’s not a football match) lol……Wristbands / fences / cars clamped and towed away…….. probably have riot police taking out anyone who dares to run along side race omg !!!! was thinking of coming to box hill for the Olympic road race weekend in my camper for a party with the Dutch lol,,,,,to think i could see a top class field in the UK for free…probably start charging for viewing tickets and overnight parking ….ROLL ON THE VUELTA !!

  • Renaud

    Where may I find the startlist of this race ?

  • mike short

    This shortened course is tailor made for a big bunch sprint with Cav the obvious favourite. Not so sure this will translate over to the full distance of 9 laps with a big field on attacking riders.

    When the course was announced I was stoked to think the Olympics would be coming to do 9 laps of Box Hill. I know the course like the back of my hand having ridden most of the roads on a weekly basis for years. In fact, I’d already worked out exactly where to stand on Box Hill to get the best views of the riders sprinting up the climb. I had even gotten to point of preping friends destined to visit from overseas. However, the usual disputes between executive and administrative bodies, this time over access to Box Hill, has, as usual, raised its ugly head and now threatens to ruin the chance to have a truly memorable spectacle. We all guffawed at the Beijing organisers for closing off access to the 2008 road race course but the same appears destined to happen to this road race. Only in Britain.

  • Fizban

    Do we assume that’s Russ and not Dean Downing?