Greipel and Co. in Surrey to check out Olympic road race route

box hill, olympic road race, 2012, greipel, degenkolb, hondo, seiberg

After the Italian women's cycling team were turned away from Box Hill yesterday, today saw a small group of German male pro's make an attempt on Surrey's most infamous climb.

Andre Greipel, Marcel Sieberg, John Degenkolb and Danilo Hondo rode out from Ripley to Mickleham with former British pro Neil Hoban where they also encountered the workmen at the bottom of the climb.

Some sweet talking from the riders, and their guide Hoban, allowed them to ride up to the first hairpin (around 1km). They then rode the loop in reverse and down the climb from the top. They got down past the top hairpin to the area where spectators were allowed for the test event last year.

Greipel, one of the contenders for this year's race, tweeted "Ok, flicked Bob the builder. We passed him a could see 1st 1,2km, then road was blocked. Turned around and did circuit other way around. Went to the top of Boxhill and could do last 1km of the climb. So we missed just about 600m. New road will be good! Thanks for resurfacing."

The Zigzag road was meant to reopen on Monday, but due to the recent bad weather the work is ongoing, although Surrey County Council's website currently says the work has been completed.

According to one of the men working on the road they still have 300 tonnes of asphalt to lay, but should be finished by this Friday.

It wasn't just the Italian women that went home disappointed yesterday. The Canadian women's team also arrived at the hill in the afternoon only to get turned away.

John Degenkolb, Marcel Sieberg and Andre Greipel at the bottom of Box hill.

German riders at the bottom of Box Hill talking their way on to the new road.

Riders get part way down the climb on the new tarmac.

Related links

Italian women turned away from Box hill

Exclusive: 2012 Olympics road race route

Olympic test event: The report card

Box hill, a victory for CW and its readers

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Simon Richardson
Magazine editor

Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling 1989 when watching the Tour de France on Channel 4, started racing in 1995 and in 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium. During his time at CW (and Cycle Sport magazine) he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He became the 130-year-old magazine's 13th editor in 2015.