By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
October 13 - The triathlon course to be used for the London 2012 Olympics - which will include Buckingham Palace as its backdrop - will hold its test event when it stages the penultimate race in the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series on August 6 and 7 next year, it has been announced.
London has again been selected as one of seven races in the prestigious series for 2011 and it will be the only time that competitors get the opportunity to try out the course before the Olympics.
Competitors will swim one 1500 metres lap of the Serpentine, departing from a pontoon placed on the north side of the lake.
They will then cycle seven laps, or 40 kilometres, in and out of the Park before running four laps around the Park to complete the third discipline, the 10km run.
The cycle route, which must go outside the Park for an Olympic event, will exit at Hyde Park Corner before going down Constitution Hill, past Buckingham Palace and back into the Park.
It will be the first time triathlon has been held in the centre of the host city since it made its debut as an Olympic event in Sydney in 2000.
The cycle course differs from the one used in this year's Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series where the entire event was contained within the Park.
The winners were Spain's Javier Gomez, who went on to clinch the overall world title, succeeding Britain's Alistair Brownlee, and Canada's Paula Findlay.
"As we move closer to the 2012 Olympic Games, ITU (International Triathlon Union) is pleased to offer a world-class series that showcases our extraordinary athletes in some truly spectacular cities," said Marisol Casado, the ITU President.
"2010 was a phenomenal year for triathlon and we're excited to build on that momentum to propel us to another wonderful season in 2011."
The Series will again start in Sydney on April 9 and 10 before moving to Yokohama on May 14 and 15, Madrid on June 4 and 5, Kitzbühel on June 18 and 19 and Hamburg on July 16 and 17 before moving to London.
The Series will conclude with the Grand Final in Beijing on September 10 and 11.
"The level of competition is what makes this Series so amazing," said Gomez.
"Next season will be very competitive because the year before the Olympic Games [in London] is so important.
"Going into any of these races, I know I'll be tested by the course and my peers."
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September 2010: Buckingham Palace to be backdrop for London 2012 triathlons
July 2010: Hyde Park triathlon course backed to be huge success in 2012