Ticket to nowhere

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.

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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