Where to watch the Olympic Road Race?

Spectators at the TdF - Image by Cycling Tips Blog

The Olympic road race will be the first event after the London 2012 Olympic games opening ceremony. Coupled with Bradley Wiggins Tour de France victory and good conditions predicted, the event should be one of the most watched and, indeed, attended event (depending on hangovers from the opening ceremony.).

The men’s race kicks off at 10am on Saturday and the women’s starts at 12pm on Sunday.

Where should you watch the Olympic Road Race?

Box Hill

Map of box hill section of the Olympic Road Race

The Box Hill and Mall sections of the route will only be open to ticket holders. These tickets have now sold out and therefore this will no longer be an option for anyone who hasn’t grabbed one in time.

For the 15,000 people who have, can see details on the Box Hill section of the route in this write up.

If you need to know how to get to Box Hill for the Olympic road race then the organisers have posted transport details. There will be cycle parking available.

Watch the Olympic Road Race along the rest of the route

The Road Race passes some other really excellent spots, including Richmond Park, Putney Bridge and Hampton Court. All of these locations provide an excellent opportunity to view the 145 men and 67 women taking part.

The London 2012 website has a list of estimated times that the riders will pass various points along the road cycling course. They’ll be returning to the Mall around 3:30pm.

To pick your spot, take a look at the map of the road race route.

Watch the Road Race at a live event

To capture the atmosphere, a number of screens have been set up where you can follow the BBC’s live coverage. The Surrey website has a list of these. Road.cc and Surrey Hills AONB will be holding the Surrey Hills Road Race festival at Denbies Vineyard. Details are here.

Get the app and follow the Twitter

Surrey council have created an iPhone app that will contain information on the routes and venues along the way. To download it search for “Surrey Road Cycling” in the app store.

There’s also a Twitter feed called @gosurreylive that will have useful information and race commentary.

Watch it in a cycling café

London’s cycling cafés will be no doubt be a very popular spot to catch the Olympic Road Race. Head to Pearson Cycles, Look Mum No Hands or the brand new Rapha Cycle Cafe – if you can get a spot in time!

Watch it in the comfort of your own home

There is of course a big pleasure in simply kicking back with a couple of beers and watching the 2012 Olympic Road Race from the comfort of your own home. Coverage on BBC 1 should start early in the day.

Where will you be watching the race?

Image of spectators at TdF by Cycling Tips.

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21 Responses to Where to watch the Olympic Road Race?

  1. Stew 26/07/2012 at 12:45 pm #

    I’ll b heading down into Richmond park with a picnic.
    It seems Richmond are putting stuff in near the richmond gate at the top of Sawyer hill but I’ll probably be nearer sheen gate/ roehampton gate near the Rugby pitches

    Watch them go out, have a nice relaxing picnic in the sun with the papers, watch them come back and then race home to catch the finish on TV.

    Sounds like a good day to me

  2. Andreas 26/07/2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Forgot to mention here that the BBC have their Olympics apps which allow you to watch the games from your mobile phone wherever you are. Could be good for anyone who wants to head along to the race but not miss any key moments!

  3. ibikelondon 26/07/2012 at 3:05 pm #

    Hi Andreas, great minds think alike! Here’s my post (also published this morning) on the best spots to watch the road cycling race and the best ways to get about by bike to the Games:

    This weekend is going to be great; I am particularly looking forward to the women’s race on Sunday. Go Nicole Cooke!

    • Andreas 26/07/2012 at 3:08 pm #

      I know – just read your post too! Think we must of hit the publish button at the same minute! Great call on the BBC app – completely forgot to mention that in my post!

  4. Barton 26/07/2012 at 3:17 pm #

    I’ll not be watching, but not really by choice. The way the Olympic coverage is done in the US means that you get 10 seconds of action in any sport and then cut away to something else, or to a sentimental (read: drivel) story about some athlete’s brother’s fiance’s cousin who maybe had something happen to them years ago and now said athlete is competing for that person, or how an athlete had to overcome the hardship of growingup in a middle-class family. (Is it too obvious I’m in a jaded mood today?).

    So, with that, I really don’t enjoy watching the Olympics, and will instead be out on my bike having my own road “race” and set the DVR to record where the race is “likely” to be shown According to the US Schedule, the men’s race will likely be broadcast starting at 5am (EST) on NBC, and the women’s race will be shown on Sunday @ 7am (EST) on “the NBC Sports Network” (so any one of five channels which you may or may not get on your cable/satellite).

    I’ll go have some chocolate now and improve my outlook. Hope you all in London (and environs) do get to find a great place to watch and have a great time!

    • John 27/07/2012 at 2:43 pm #

      Get yourself a VPN connection to a UK based IP address and use BBC Iplayer to watch the race – not that i’d encourage anyone to do anything that breaches the almighty BBC’s licence terms! (it’s what i’ll be doing when i’m out of the country next week)
      My understanding of the road race is it’s a team effort to secure an individual victory so just like the TDF, team Sky (sorry team GB) will be working to get Cav to the front at the end same as in Paris, looking forward to the sprint finish but feel 9 laps of Box Hill a bit pointless when there is so much great countryside here they could be cycling through

  5. Andrew Wilcox 27/07/2012 at 11:38 am #

    Surely the Box Hill circuit is only ticketed in the pink section of the map above. If you can get access to other parts of the loop you can watch them go past 9 times?

  6. Hugh 27/07/2012 at 12:24 pm #

    Don’t bother coming to Dorking – it’ll be rubbish and you won’t see anything.

    Hugh, Dorking (desperate to protect my own view of the race and not be overwhelmed by visitors)

    • barton 27/07/2012 at 2:26 pm #

      I completely respect this attitude!

  7. bob 27/07/2012 at 12:35 pm #

    The Box hill community association have arranged loads of amenities for cyclists including secure bike parking and cakes and sandwiches etc.

    check it out on the following link


    • bob 27/07/2012 at 12:36 pm #

      Are you planning to come to Box Hill to watch the Olympic Cycle Road Race and arrive on your bike? Do you need somewhere to store your bike whilst watching the action? We have the answer for you.

      Box Hill Neighbourhood Council is offering cycle storage where you can secure your bike for just £5 per bike per day (all you need is your bike padlock). The storage area is located behind the Village Hall on Box Hill Road, right on the cycle route, with good viewing areas FREE. We will also be selling Bacon Rolls, sandwiches and homemade cakes from the Village Hall so no need to pack a picnic.

      To avoid disappointment spaces should be reserved in advance for 28th and 29th July. You should arrive by 9.30 am (or space will be reallocated). You should collect your bike by 5pm. If you haven’t purchased a ticket to watch the race from the National Trust areas why not come and see the riders pass through Box Hill Village (9 times on Saturday 28th and twice on Sunday 29th). We have some very good viewing areas.

      If you would like to book a space or more information please contact Daphne Ladell – daphne.ladell@btinternet.com, 01737 843644

  8. barton 27/07/2012 at 2:25 pm #

    I have a question on how the road race works in the Olympics, that I am hoping one of you can explain. (It’s never been broadcast in the States before: heck, I didn’t even know they did any cycling except pursuit in the Olympics until this year).

    In the multi-day races and the classics (personal favs), you have teams working for the benefit of one individual (or more, in the case of multi-day where people try for stage wins as well). But this isn’t a team race, it is an individual race.

    So, are members of each nations team going to work for the good of one individual (say, Cav or Wiggo), or is it mano e mano? I am really hoping it is the later, b/c I am still not convinced the Cav would have won the world championship if his teammates hadn’t done all the lead-outs they did.

    Thoughts? Explanations?

    • Hugh 27/07/2012 at 2:56 pm #

      Generally speaking the national teams will still be working as a team for the benefit of one rider. In the case of Team GB, Wiggo, Froome, Millar and Stannard will all be working to deliver a fresh Cav to the front of the bunch 500m from the finish line on the Mall.

      What might make it more interesting is that a number of the other national teams will be doing exactly the same, so you may see (for example) the Swiss and Norweigian teams working together for a large part of the race to try and out-do the Brits and deliver their respective leaders (Spartacus and the God of Thunder) to the line in better form than the Manx Missile.

      My own prediction is that Wiggins will be doing a largely solo time-trial style effort at the front of the pack to deliver everyone to the foot of Box Hill at a crazy pace and thereby decimate the weaker riders in the process. From here Froome will do the bulk of the work over the nine laps of Box Hill before Stannard and Millar take it to the line where Cav wins by two bike lengths over Thor Hushovd. There, I’ve said it now – let’s see if I am smug or stupid at 4pm tomorrow.

      • barton 27/07/2012 at 3:16 pm #

        That makes sense, but I am sorry to hear that it is a team effort for an individual result. “Welcome to the Olympic team, boys. We expect you not to win a single medal as all your effort/talent will be given to ensure that [insert name here] wins a medal. So really, you’ll receive no recognition for your work. Have fun!”

        And really, I’d love to see Cancellara win, but I’m sure the rest of the Swiss team don’t have the strength that Team Sky – sorry – Team GB has.

        I would not bet against your prediction. Cav at the line – especially since there are no real climbs to take him out (Box Hil circuit 9 times doesn’t look like it would drop even me, who climbs with all the speed of a stone).

        • Hugh 27/07/2012 at 4:15 pm #

          If you want to see the kind of problems you have highlighted in action, just look back over the pre-selection spat between Team GB’s Nicole Cooke (defending Olympic champ) and Lizzie Armistead (current UK champ). Nicole has been told just that: “Sorry, but Lizzie is in better form – you are riding for her” and I am not sure it has gone down terribly well, despite her brave face for the press.

          Depsite all the hoo-haa around Cav, Wiggo et al, I think the women’s race has the potential to be much more exciting, and my prediction of Lizzie capturing the gold in a bunch sprint is slightly less confident than my prediction for the men’s race.

          I agree with you on Cancellara – if it were a flatter course I would have him for the win, but I can’t see anyone getting away from the British team before the Mall, and once they are there I can’t see anyone beating a fired-up Cav to the sprint.

      • Hugh 30/07/2012 at 10:10 am #

        Ok, I officially feel stupid with my prediction for the men’s race, but at least my prediciton (below) on the women’s race was not far off the mark – very exciting race from start to finish, and Lizzie’s silver was a tremendous acheivement.

  9. Simon Lewis 27/07/2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Anyone with tickets for Box Hill, what time will you be getting there? I’ve heard people are getting there tat 6am!

  10. Skippy 29/07/2012 at 7:08 pm #

    Were people able to take their bikes into the ” Pay section of the Zig Zag on Saturday ? Was told Thursday that ALL Fans would walk through the Scanners manned by the Army w/out their bikes !

    Who was upset with the results ? Wonder if this will be a repeat of Shamilton in 2004 ?

    • Hugh 30/07/2012 at 10:08 am #

      Oh please no – road racing has come so far since 2004, another high profile scandal would be a disaster for all those riders who have worked so hard to promote a cleaner sport.

      I have to admit though – exactly the same thought went through my head when Vino won.

  11. Kineticc 29/07/2012 at 9:35 pm #

    London 2012 MTB trail + elevation chart http://www.geocontext.org/publ/2010/04/profiler/en/?topo_id=13936

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