Imagine the scene – and you can choose whether to imagine this scene with delight or dread – it’s the morning of Sunday 14th August and 140 lycra clad masochists come hurtling towards you through the streets of Twickenham on super sleek racing bikes pursued by a caravan of motorbikes and vans. Spectators begin to cheer then whoosh, in a blur of colours featuring national flags and corporate logos, the maniacs are gone. Yes little friends, that was the London Surrey Cycle Classic, aka the test event for the London 2012 Olympic road race, that just passed through your town. It’s happening this Sunday and, after the depressing events of the last week, it will provide a positive and exciting spectacle for Londoners to watch. If you like bikes.

The Race
There’s a lot of big names from the world of cycling taking part, of which the only one most of us have heard of is Mark Cavendish, but that doesn’t matter, they’re top athletes. All told there’ll be 28 teams with five riders each from a mix of national squads and sponsored race teams. The course is 140km long, starts and finishes on The Mall with the little matter of a trip to Box Hill in between.

Where & when?
If you want to watch it pass through Twickenham the race comes along Richmond Road, down York Street, King Street and Cross Deep before heading up to Bush Park along Waldegrave Road. Precise times may vary but the race starts at 9.00am and should enter Richmond Park at about 9.15am which means it should arrive in Twickenham not too long afterwards. Maybe 9.20ish. If you plan to watch, get there early as these guys do cycle rather fast!

Yes there will be a lot of traffic disruption through road closures and diversions so check the TFL website if you’re planning to drive anywhere. Most of the road closures take effect in the early hours of Sunday morning and are expected to be lifted by about 11.30am but check for details.

Enjoy the spectacle.

* TFL’s Check Before You Travel page.
* Various background bits on this Cycling Weekly website.
* The St Margarets local website has a lot of very good stuff about it here.
* Richmond Council page with various links & info is here.
* Richmond Cycling also have a lot of stuff about it including timings, here.
* London Prepares website