Brands Hatch has been chosen as the venue for the London 2012 Paralympic cycling road races.
Events will start and finish at the former Formula 1 circuit and include sections on local roads in the Sevenoaks District. 225 of the world's top riders from over 40 countries will compete for 32 road race titles when the track closes to motor racing between 8-15 September. The combination of the motor racing circuit and local roads provide a circuit that challenges the athletes and one that will undoubtedly create some spectacular races and worthy winners.
The Northern part of Sevenoaks District is particularly excited to be hosting this high profile event and the Chairman of Sevenoaks District Council for 2012, Cllr Dee Morris who represents Hextable in the far north of the district, said, “The course looks great and it will be a real test for athletes, promising a great show for spectators. The events will be ticketed in large part, but part of the route will be free for spectators to line the route providing a fantastic way of watching high profile action.” Tickets will cost £10 and there will also be Special Price tickets available (£5 for 16 and under and 60 and over) as well as Group Organiser tickets for large groups which would see them receive additional tickets at no extra cost.
Cycling is one of Britain's most successful Paralympic sports after we picked up 20 medals - including 17 golds - across all cycle events at the Beijing Games in 2008.
The 2012 competition will cover hand cycling, tricycles, bicycles and tandems with riders competing in time-trial, road race and team relay events. There will be 155 male and 70 female riders in medal events including mass-start road races ranging from 30km to 120km and individual and team time trials ranging from 20km to 35km. In total there will be 17 competitions for men, 12 women's events and three mixed events.
"This will help us extend the Games outside London and will give spectators and athletes the chance to discover yet another stunning part of our country," said London 2012 chairman Lord Coe.
Cllr Peter Fleming, the Leader of Sevenoaks District Council, says: “We are thrilled and excited to host such a prestigious international event in the Sevenoaks District. Together with our partners we have worked hard to put everything in place for this competition for the world’s best Paralympic cyclists. I hope by coming to our District, the Paralympic Games will inspire both disabled and able-bodied people. It certainly promises to be a unique experience for our residents and we look forward to giving a warm welcome to competitors and spectators alike."
Discussions continue regarding the Torch and the route will be announced later in the year.