Simon Lillistone, who rode in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games team pursuit and points events for GB, is once again to taste Olympic action.
But not as rider this time. The 41-year-old Shropshire born rider who was part of the successful Team Haverhill squad, is 2012 Olympics Cycling Manager for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) and relishing the challenge.
In the photograph, Lillistone points out a feature of the Velodrome to Dave Brailsford, the UK Olympic cycling team boss Lillistone has been a one-man band for the past 12 months, but LOCOG will be recruiting another five or six to his team later this year.
And cycling fans should also stand by to apply for one of 70,000 volunteers needed when the 2012 Games starts! Yes, 70,000!
Lillistone’s role is to organise the cycling competition in accordance with the UCI’s requirements for the Games. But that’s putting it too simply! Not just the timing of the events, but transport, security, accreditation, catering, everything to ensure the smooth running of events and riders and officials between venues.
For the past 12 months he’s been involved in the development of the Velodrome and BMX site on the Games site, and the relocation of the mtb events from the original North London site to Hadleigh Castle in Essex, judged by the UCI to offer a more competitive terrain.
Presently, he’s has the design the road race course uppermost in his mind, following the UCI’s rejection of the Regents Park, Hampstead Heath and Highgate Village route.
“On road cycling we’ve been asked by the UCI to look for alternatives to the course in the bid, the one around Regents Park (and over Highgate and Hampstead). A large chunk of last year has been spent developing routes and ideas about how that might work, working through that with the UCI and working through them with London.”
“This is ongoing, to find a best possible course from the sporting perspective. And also to show off the games in the best possible light and the show off the sport in the best possible light.”
Tantalisingly, he would offer no clue as to where the course would be in the capital! As far as competition goes, if the UCI want a climb, CW reckon they’ll have no choice but to take the course over Hampstead Heath, included on the original course, the only half-decent hill in an otherwise pan flat city!
As the Games nears, LOCOG will want to recruit volunteers. “We will be announcing publicly in September to recruit a very large number – 70,000 volunteers for the entire Games, across all the Games,” said Lillistone.
They will include “sport specific volunteers”, which means for cycling they want cyclists who know the sport, able to control the public who may want to cross the road at the wrong moment!
“We’ll be calling on the cycling population to get involved. To help us fill those invaluable roles. And as well as volunteer opportunities, there will be job opportunities – keep an eye on the (LOCOG) website.”
“At the moment I am the only cycling specific person in LOCOG. In 10 months there will be a total of six people working on cycling – one per cycling discipline and a cycling service manager who looks after all the services, like catering, transport, delivering people to the venues.”
So, if you want to be involved, please don’t call his mobile, go through official channels. This link will eventually reveal all. He wants to make sure he gets the best people, those already organising cycling events and making a success of it, to apply for the jobs.