From Dalby we traveled to London on way to little sleep. My typical post race midnight wakefulness combined with a 5am wake up call meant I was pretty much a wreck. But the organizers of the Olympics were giving us the opportunity to ride the Olympic course and training started at 11. Getting to ride the. Olympic course did help to energiize me though!
Driving there I was thankful to live in a town Kamloops's size. I hate traffic! It took almost 6hrs to get to Hadleigh farms, but we got there thanks to Zak and Waldek and enjoyed some beautiful sunshine on a great course.
Just as it had been ridiculously windy at Dalby, Hadleigh farms, located on the south shore of England was equally windy and on certain sections of the course we were blown up or felt like we had hands pushing us backwards or over.
The loop is fast, hard packed dirt with some loose rock sections to challenge climbing skills. lots of rocks were brought in from northern England (where the rocks are harder) and arranged around the course to offer various rock gardens, both up and down, step ups and drops. Most of the climbing is switch backing to create more climbing out of only 74 m of elevation change (Beijing had 64m and was one of the hilliest races I've done). The climbs in London are not steep, but with the fast track we will be seeing them all at least 6 times in our race.
All in all I think the organizers did a good job. It should be a great course for spectating and fun to ride. Because it is so fast and there nothing that will really separate riders like a monster climb or super tricky section the race will really stick together. It will require patience, smarts and decisive moves. I'm looking forward to the test event July 31st.
The county of Essex has adopted team Canada and the town councillor invited us out to dinner and to visit a local school. They had transported 1000 kids out to watch us train on the course. It's pretty neat to be so welcomed into a community.