Monday, 30 July 2012

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Behind the scenes at Box Hill: Can't believe it's all over!

And that's that! Well done to Lizzie for bringing home a silver medal for Team GB. Here on Box Hill the atmosphere was amazing - from the cheering fans lining the route to us here in the comms office shouting at the telly at the fantastic climax.

Just some of the beautiful landscapes at Box Hill ©Brian Cleckner
We'd like to say a huge thank you to the spectators who were really respectful of the marked ticketed areas, helping to protect our wildlife. We've now got a busy time as LOCOG dismantle the site and we survey the area to monitor any affect on our special landscape. We'll be open to cyclists and cars from 4 Aug, and to walkers from 31 Jul.

The crowds waiting for the ladies race on Butterfly Bend, one of the most special areas for wildlife ©Brian Cleckner

Andy Wright, the countryside manager for the Surrey Hills, has been working on site all weekend. Here's his perspective on the event:

“This has been such a team effort. Prior to being involved with anything like this I just imagined the roads were closed, the races blasted through and the roads re-open. Oh boy, was I in for a shock! You wouldn’t believe what goes in behind the scenes, particularly with the added complication of protecting the fragile habitats of Box Hill.

“We have faced challenges and some difficult situations. However, my overriding memory will be an amazing working relationship with so many differing organisations and individuals.

I am so proud to have played a small part in the 2012 Games and feel privileged to have worked alongside such a great bunch of people.”

And for all of you who came across Andy on TV and radio this weekend, here's a special little picture of him in one of the great Zig Zag catering team t-shirts. Lots of people quite fancied owning one of these, so we're pleased to announce that a limited number will be on sale for £10 each in the shop when we open again on the 4 Aug.

Andy modelling the Zig Zag t-shirt

Behind the scenes at Box Hill: Getting ready for the ladies race

The regional comms team had a much more restful night in our tents last night, and even managed to get a lift up the hill with a bunch of friendly rangers.

Some of the Surrey Hills ranger team off to monitor our wildlife in the ticketed spectator areas. ©Brian Cleckner
Our camera crew have been following some of the fans to get a different perspective on the action. Watch this space for our video!

Following the fans on the women's race day ©Brian Cleckner

Taking in the view at Box Hill ©Brian Cleckner

We've had really mixed weather today - some sun,  some showers, but we've managed to shelter in our office. Which we learnt today, used to be housing for people who looked after the gunpowder for the fort here at Box Hill.

Box Hill looked amazing in the sunshine before the rain ©Brian Cleckner

Along with being a top spot for cycling, Box Hill is also great for walkers. Here's to hoping the fans climbing up the hill today enjoyed their surroundings and come back for a walk.

Spectators climbing the hill to claim their spot ©Brian Cleckner

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Behind the scenes at Box Hill: End of a long day

So we didn't get the Team GB result we wanted, better luck in the other cycling events chaps... Roll on the women's race tomorrow!

Despite the results, we've had a busy and enjoyable day. Here's a great video that captures the fantastic atmosphere on site.


Advice for getting to the Women's Road Race 29 July

To help you get to the right ticketed area tomorrow as quickly as possible, please make sure you've checked the name of your spectator area on your ticket, and the entrance you need to access it.

The entrance for Donkey Green is the Donkey Green entrance, near the Smith and Western Pub.

The entrance for the Doormice Drive is the Old London Road entrance or the Ryka's entrance

Please look at the map for the appropriate footpaths to your specific entrance.


Download the map from the London 2012 website

Behind the scenes at Box Hill: Soaking up the atmosphere

It's lap seven of the nine laps being ridden today at Box Hill. We've been out to watch the incredible teams flash by, and are now back in the office watching on TV cheering on Team GB.

Before the race started, our media team went out to capture some of the fantastic atmosphere created by fans from all over the world. Here's our highlights:

A fan gets into the Olympic spirit. ©Brian Cleckner


A family watches the action on a big screen ©Brian Cleckner




Our special Adonis blue stickers that celebrate the wildlife that make Box Hill so special. ©Brian Cleckner


A view of the crowd from the air ©Brian Cleckner

Brian and Kevin, our camera team ©Brian Cleckner


Our London Marketing and Communications consultant Laura, learns how to be a boom mike operator

Behind the scenes at Box Hill: Cafe pyjama party




How’s this for dedication to duty? Our Box Hill catering staff camped out in the cafĂ© at Box Hill overnight on Friday so they could be ready bright and early to serve today’s cycle race fans.

The sleepover was the best way to make sure everyone was on site on time to welcome the thousands of people expected to line the steep and challenging Zig Zag road.

In the last 24 hours the hard working team have baked hundreds of cakes and made around 2,000 sandwiches. Now they’re preparing to serve up to 15,000 cuppas to thirsty road race fans.

 Our retail and catering manager Suzanne Taylor said: “There are about twelve of us here and it’s been quite good fun really. We are all enjoying it, everybody is mucking in and it’s all been great.

Behind the scenes on Box Hill: on the way into the office this morning

Quick behind the scenes blog from the regional comms team.

Hello all!

After staying up late to watch the opening ceremony with the comms and media team, and then a restless night in the campsite, where I was much too excited to sleep, we made it up Box Hill at 7am.

At the top we bumped into Andy Wright, our Surrey Hills countryside manager who'd just finished giving an interview to Mike Bushell of BBC Breakfast. He was very good on camera getting compliments from the BBC team for being so awake so early in the morning.

Andy and Mike Bushell


En route, there were lots of excited people claiming their spot on the route. Once we'd passed through into the main ticketed area, we snuck off to get a picture in front of the rings on the hill. It was very quiet compared to the crowds outside!

Michelle and Alex from the regional comms team
It was really interesting seeing all the people setting up for the race. We spotted a number of team cars and some great grafitti supporting TeamGB

Some of our favourite grafitti
More behind the scenes stories if we can get them later...

Friday, 27 July 2012

Richard Long's Box Hill Road River

One of Britain’s most celebrated artists, Richard Long, has painted a 100m-long artwork on the Zig Zag road at Box Hill, Surrey. 

The artwork, called Box Hill Road River, is inspired by the traditional road graffiti chalked onto the road by fans at the Tour De France.

Long’s work is made from bright white road paint and will be a lasting legacy of the London 2012 Games in Box Hill.



The Olympic Road Cycling Race will take place in Surrey on 28 July (men’s race) and 29 July (women’s race).

Both the men’s and women’s races will include laps of the Zig Zag road at Box hill, taking in the spectacular views of the internationally important chalk landscape.

Richard Long and his artwork ©Brian Cleckner


About the artist

Richard Long has been working with the landscape since the 1960s. His work typically extends the possibility of sculpture beyond traditional methods and materials. He is also a very keen cyclist, and he has cycled many of the Tour de France sections.

Richard Long said:
'This is my way to celebrate the cyclists in the same tradition as fans paint the road with names and slogans on the mountain stages of the road races. I’ve been a life-long cyclist, and follow the Tour de France.'

The artwork viewed from the air during the practice day ©Brian Cleckner



Part of the London 2012 Festival 

The work was unveiled on Thursday 26 July 2012 and is a co-commission between London 2012 Festival and ourselves.

The London 2012 Festival is the finale of the cultural Olympiad and is in association with the Mayor of London.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

'This will be a fantastic sight as cyclists hurtle over Box Hill during the Olympic Road Cycling Race, an inspiring coming together of sport and art for the 2012 Games.'

Box Hill Road Race practice day Thursday 26 July


Here's a video taken by our team of the practice day on the Box Hill zigzag yesterday, Thursday 26 July. It was really exciting seeing the national teams whizzing by.

And some pictures for your delectation:


The international teams and their support teams tackle the hill. ©Brian Cleckner

Team GB's Nicole Cooke zooms over Richard Long's specially commissioned artwork 'Box Hill Road River' ©Brian Cleckner


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Latest on Box Hill closure

Box Hill Zig Zag Road is now closed to all traffic until Saturday 4 August for the Olympic road races and to allow for the safe take-down of the infrastructure post-event.

During the take-down there will be lots of big vehicles on the road which will be unsafe for visiting traffic. However, it does mean that we can open fully again much faster.

Walkers can visit from Tuesday 31 July.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Keep an eye out here for the latest Box Hill road race news

Our regional comms team have set up camp at Box Hill ready for this weekend's road race.

We'll be posting behind the scenes pictures and videos here on the blog.

You can also see our latest stories on Facebook and Twitter.