Olympic road cycling preview
After a mass start on The Mall in London, the peloton will zip through Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea before crossing the River Thames at Putney Bridge. The real action will start in Surrey.
There riders will make multiple, 9.6-mile circuits of Box Hill, where Jane Austen's Emma endured an unhappy picnic, and where the suffering of the peloton is sure to be ratcheted up: multiple attacks are sure to be launched on this climb.
From there, the course takes riders back to central London, for what is likely to be a thrilling sprint finish on the Mall, outside Buckingham Palace. Men will race 250 kilometers; women will race 140.
After commissioning a detailed wildlife survey, LOCOG green-lighted the clearing of brush and shrubs to accommodate 15,000 spectators along the Zig-Zag Road section of Box Hill.
Taylor Phinney lived up to the hype that has attended his brief career by winning the prologue at the Giro d'Italia, then holding the jersey for three days. The son of ex-Olympic medalists Connie Carpenter and Davis Phinney, Taylor is a two-time world champion in the individual pursuit, and would've been a favorite to medal in that event had the IOC not scrapped it. While the 44-km course is longish, for him, he didn't contest the Tour de France, and will have had two months to get ready for London.