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Essex County Council: We're so proud of Hadleigh mountain biking event
5:58pm Saturday 11th August 2012 in Castle Point
ESSEX County Council says it was proud to host the women’s Olympic Mountain Bike event as thousands of spectators watched the world’s best female riders compete for gold at Hadleigh Farm in South Essex.
The sold-out event attracted 20,000 spectators who watched 30 female athletes compete in the Women’s Mountain Bike cross country event.
As temperatures reached 22c, spectators – around 40 per cent of whom were Essex residents - basked in the sunshine, as they witnessed Julie Bresset take the Gold for France.
County Councillor Stephen Castle , the man credited with much of thw work to bring the games to Essex, said: “We were delighted to welcome the world’s top female riders and the 20,000 spectators to our Olympic venue here at Hadleigh Farm.
"It was a thrilling day of competition on the technically challenging course. This event will put Essex firmly on the map as a great cycling destination.”
With the Princess Royal, Princess Anne at Hadleigh Farm to cheer on the riders, Team GB put in a sterling effort as Annie Last, came in 8th place after leading throughout the first lap.
Annie, whose family live in Leigh, grew up cycling around Hadleigh Farm and was overwhelmed to be able to come back and ride here.
After receiving planning permission from Castle Point Council, Essex County Council says it is committed to delivering a legacy from the Olympic venue.
The Hadleigh Farm and Country Park Olympic Legacy Project will retain and adapt the Olympic Mountain Bike course for use by the public, as well as expand and enhance Hadleigh Country Park, providing opportunities for people to more fully access, enjoy and appreciate the area’s natural historic environment.
The plans also include a Visitors Centre, Café, bike hire shop and network of multi user walking and cycling tracks.