2012 Chooses Brands Hatch

London 2012 organisers have chosen Brands Hatch to host the road cycling events for next summer's Paralympic Games.

The circuit, which began life as a grass track cycle venue in the 1920s, will be shut down as an international motor racing venue from September 8-15 2012 to make way for 225 of the world's top riders, and six days of events.

The 2012 competition will cover hand cycling, tricycles, bicycles and tandems with riders competing in time trial, road race plus team relay events. The races will start and finish at Brands Hatch, with the section in between taking place on local roads.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe said: "We are thrilled to be bringing such a high profile and exciting Paralympic sport here to Brands Hatch. This will help us extend the Games outside London and will give spectators and athletes the chance to discover yet another stunning part of our country."

There will be 155 male and 70 female riders from around 40 nations with disabilities ranging from visual impairments, cerebral palsy and amputations. In total there will be 17 competitions for men, 12 women's events and three mixed events.

ParalympicsGB will be looking to maintain its standing as a powerhouse cycling nation at London 2012 having won 20 medals, including 17 gold, across all cycle events at the Beijing Games.

Paralympic champion Rachel Morris said: "I'm extremely excited to potentially be competing at Brands Hatch. Winning another gold medal but on home soil this time would just be fantastic.

"The course looks great and it will be a real test for athletes, promising a great show for spectators. I can't wait to give it my best shot in under 500 days time.''

Sports fans will have to pay £10, or £5 on a special discount for under 16 and the over 60s, to go in to the Brands Hatch arena. The road sections will be free to spectators.

The announcement comes just days after it was revealed the Olympic torch will be coming to Dover and Maidstone next year as part of the official 2012 torch relay.

Councillor Mike Hall, from Kent County Council said "This really has been a week of celebrations in Kent. The excitement is really mounting now as we celebrate that the official Paralympic road cycling event will be taking place right here in the county.

"It is a real credit to all the hard work which is going on behind the scenes helping Kent be part of this world event and giving residents the chance to get involved."

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