LOCOG’s Director of Sport Debbie Jevans declared herself pleased with how yesterday’s London-Surrey Cycle Classic went, as she described it as a learning curve.

Speaking at a post-race press conference, she said that the initial feedback from the event was positive, but insisted that changes will be made if necessary.

“This is an incredibly complex event to organise,” she said. “Like all of our events on our testing programme, we are here to learn.

“We’ll take the feedback from this, we’ll have a very detailed debrief with the UCI and their technical delegates who will give us feedback.”

The main areas that Jevans would be scrutinised will be the comments from riders, the impact of the full road closures along the route and the crowd restrictions on Box Hill.

Several riders have expressed their concern about the first part of the course, with third place finisher Samuel Dumoulin embarrassing the organisers by declaring the start was “a little dangerous” in the rider’s press conference.

In response, Jevans replied: “What we have now is a debrief with the governing body and that will include comments from the riders.

“Maybe some areas around Box Hill, for example, will be widened and I know some riders felt the beginning was very technical so what we need to do is assess that with the experts and if we need to make tweaks we will.

Wellington Arch, London-Surrey Cycle Classic 2011

Dangerous start? The peloton pass Wellington Arch

“The overall consensus is that it’s a fantastic route, it’s technically challenging and if we have to make some slight tweaks, then we’ll do that.”

Hope for cycling fans?
Jevans also admitted that the crowd restrictions on Box Hill will be analysed thoroughly to see if the 3,400 capacity on the climb for the test event can be increased for the Olympic road race.

“What we have to do is to ensure we allow the maximum number of spectators to watch while taking into account and respecting the wildlife in that area.

“The spectators that were there today were in sync with the National Trust and Natural England; they worked with us and we had a managed area [on the hill].”

Despite the limited numbers on the climb and along The Mall, Jevans was delighted with the turnout for the race.

Debbie Jevans, LOCOG director of sport

Jevans praised the thousands of fans who lined the roadside

“It was tens of thousands, and there was an anticipation of up to 200,000.

“I would certainly say that there were at least 100,000 [fans along the course]; there wasn’t an area for a long period of time without spectators.”

Related links

Cavendish wins London-Surrey Cycle Classic

London-Surrey Cycle Classic 2011 photo gallery

Olympic test event: report card

  • Anthony

    It will be difficult for Team GB to ensure the race ends in a sprint finish with Wiggins, Thomas & Ben Swift all down to ride on the track, but Cav has to go in as overwhelming favourite. The danger is that no one else is prepared to work with Team GB and a break stays clear. My money would be on a relative unknown European rider winning from a small breakaway.

  • Mike Short

    I would be interested in knowing which part of the start little Sammy thought was dangerous. Is Putney Bridge not wide enough for him? Perhaps LOCOG and British Cycling should take the riders down the A3 next time?

    On a serious note. The route out to Box Hill is excellent. It allows an early break to get away, gives a taste of just what is so great about riding in the UK (ie the lanes) yet spends most of the time on roads wide enough to deal with the inevitable caravan.

    My big concern with the event (well, one anyway) was the way the organisers felt the need to barricade huge sections of the route. With a dozen outriders and race vehicles leading out the riders and dozens I saw no need for this. Races in Europe seem to survive without all this unnecessary infrastructure; hell, in Belgium and the Netherlands the racers often end up riding on the pavement to avoid the ubiquitous pave.

    On a final point, Cav can kiss his chances away. With a team of 5 as opposed to the dozens prepared to work for him on Sunday plus the extra 7 laps plus the influx of hungry riders plus plus plus, Cav has so little chance. Why doesn’t the team commit behind someone like Gee?