On August 11th 2008, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games announced that Hadleigh Farm situated in Hadleigh Essex would be the location for the men’s and women’s Mountain Biking events at the London 2012 Olympics. Hadleigh Farm is owned by the Salvation Army and also the venue covers a 550 acre site which includes stunning woodland. It also entails surrounding countryside of Hadleigh Country Park. The site provides a technically challenging course with vast inclines for mountain biking and a climb of 70 metres from top to bottom. Additionally, it allows excellent viewing opportunities for spectators and ticket-holders. The course is set against the surroundings of the historical ruins of Hadleigh Castle, helping to make for an exceptionally picturesque backdrop.
From the build-up to preparing the Olympic site, a unique development control committee approved the planning application for the Olympic mountain biking course. A few of the local residents weren’t particularly partial to the works occurring originally and thus meetings took place to discussion exactly why such changes should be made. The widening of Hadleigh’s Chapel Lane was particularly worthwhile because of the possible demand for Emergency access during the Games. Furthermore, Castle Lane has had alterations made caused by a new path being built to accommodate the Salvation Army Tea Rooms. With tight deadlines to be met, the Olympic mountain biking track was officially finished in March 2011 and will be tested on Sunday 31st July 2011 once the Hadleigh Farm Mountain Bike International race is going to be held.
The detailed competition schedule for the London 2012 Olympic Games was released on 15th February 2011 and here are the details for the Hadleigh events; The Olympic Mountain Biking women’s event is to be held on Saturday 11th August 2012 between 12.30 and 2.30pm. The men’s event will be held on Sunday 12th August 2012 between 1.30pm and 3.30pm. The Games opening ceremony is to be held on Friday 27th July 2012 from 7.30pm to 10.30pm. The closing ceremony is going to be held on Sunday 12th August 2012 from 7.30pm to 10.30pm. Tickets to watch the London 2012 Olympic Mountain Biking event at Hadleigh Farm cost from 25 to 40. Additionally, on the 27th July 2012, there will be special price pay your age tickets readily available for children, age 16 and under and for seniors, age 60 and over.
While in the Olympic Games spectators can watch the action alongside a winding course spanning through the surrounding woods and parkland. After the Olympics are complete, the temporary structures will be removed, however there has been talk that a course will remain for use of the public. The Olympics will probably increase tourism and also the Hadleigh Business Industry while the Mountain Biking events are going on, but will hopefully also enhance its popularity as the famous site in which the 2012 Olympics were held. Hadleigh currently is a fairly small, quiet town, but during the Olympics and the months prior to it, there’ll be a keen buzz filling the streets as well as the local surrounding areas, including Leigh-on-Sea and Southend-on-Sea. 2012 will be a fantastic year for Hadleigh!