Cookson unhappy with plans to charge spectators at Olympic road events
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cookson unhappy with plans to charge spectators at Olympic road events

by VeloNation Press at 10:02 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics
‘Cycling is a sport which is traditionally free to watch’

London OlympicsBritish Cycling president Brian Cookson has expressed his dissatisfaction with a decision taken to charge spectators at some sections of the road race and time trial course at the London Olympics, pointing out that this conflicts with how things have previously been done in the sport.

Under the plans of London Olympic Games organizer Locog, those watching the road race at the laps of Box Hill in Surrey, the main obstacle and the place where the rouleurs will slug it out and attempt to distance the sprinters, must pay. Those at the viewing area at Donkey Green will pay £15 for adults and £5 for children and seniors, while adults at the Dormouse Drive location will pay £10.

For the time trial, a charge will be applied at the Hampton Court Palace location. The prices are £15 for adults and £5 for children and seniors at viewing area A and £10 and £5 at viewing area B.

Cookson isn’t happy with the fees. "It would be absolutely better if it was free of charge because cycling is a sport that is traditionally free to watch," he said, according to Telegraph Sport.

"I do appreciate the difficult environmental issues that have to be resolved in the sensitive environment of Box Hill, and you can't have an unrestricted free-for-all like the Tour de France. But while the numbers have to be managed, it would be absolutely better if it was free of charge."

Two dates have been mentioned for tickets sales, namely May 17th and May 29th.

According to the Telegraph, Locog had previously said that the road cycling events would be free to watch. This was the case in previous Olympics, and is the norm at the Grand Tours, Classics and other races.

London Assembly chair of the economic, culture and sport committee, Dee Doocey, feels that Locog has done a U turn on its earlier position.

"This would be dreadful and most regrettable, it is totally against what Locog has been saying all along," she said.


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