The Olympic routes were due to start and finish at Flamengo Park, but the UCI have moved both the men's and women's race down to Copacabana Fort

Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has announced changes to the Rio 2016 road race route meaning both the men’s and women’s races will now start and finish at the Copacabana beach.

In December, organisers announced the races would start and finish in Flamengo Park, but the new route moves them 9km south to the historic Copacabana Fort.

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The adapted routes do not see a change in the race distances – 256.4km for the men, 130.3km for the women – and riders will still pass through Ipanema, São Conrado and Vista Chinesa.

UCI president Brian Cookson said: “The UCI has been working in close collaboration with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and Mayor Paes and we welcome the modifications to the Road Race route which will now start and finish at the renowned Fort Copacabana.

“The combination of the stunning scenery and the stern challenge that the Road Race and Time Trial courses will provide will deliver a fantastic spectacle for cycling fans and we’re looking forward with anticipation and excitement to the start of the Games.”

The men will ride four laps of the Grumari circuit, which includes two climbs – one averaging 7% over 1.2km and the other averaging 4.5% over 2.1km. The women will do one lap.

The men then also ride three laps of the Canoas/Cista Chinesa circuit, which includes a climb, which includes a technical 6km descent from Canoas. The women, again, will complete one circuit.

To finish the race, the riders will return to the Copacabana for the finish to see who will emulate Alexander Vinokourov as Olympic champion.