Britain’s WorldTour cyclists are converging on Surrey tonight to begin their preparations for Sunday’s Olympic test event.
As well as the dummy run of the race, Team GB are also treating the London-Surrey Cycle Classic as a rehearsal for next year’s Games, with their plans for the weekend mirroring the arrangements for next July as closely as possible.
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Staff began checking into their base this afternoon (they will be using the same hotel in 2012), with the ten riders who will make up the GB and English squad due to meet together for a team dinner this evening.
Team Sky’s Jeremy Hunt was the first to arrive, with Mark Cavendish expected to arrive at the team’s hotel this evening. Cavendish has been training in Italy this week as he gears up for Sunday’s race, which he goes into as the clear favourite.
Coach Rod Ellingworth told Cycling Weekly that Cavendish is just one of a handful of the WorldTour riders who have previously ridden up Box Hill, although he doesn’t expect that to be an issue come Sunday. The test event only takes in the climb twice, as opposed to nine times for next year’s
Ellingworth added that the riders will be training in the Surrey lanes tomorrow, although they may not cover large amounts of the course.
When asked about the condition of the climb, he was pleased that many of the potholes that
CW noted on a recent trip to Box Hill have been filled in.
While her boyfriend Adam Blythe is not riding, Lizzie Armitstead has joined up with her male counterparts at their base.
Because there is no women’s test event, she will recce the course this weekend and will get a first-hand view of the whole course from a team car on Sunday.
Ben Swift was also listed on the provisional start sheet, but is still racing in the Eneco Tour.
Team England – Steve Cummings, Russell Downing, Chris Froome, Jeremy Hunt, Dan Lloyd
Team Great Britain –Mark Cavendish, Alex Dowsett, Roger Hammond, Peter Kennaugh, Ian Stannard