By Mike Rowbottom

Hampton_CourtFebruary 15 - Cyclists taking part in next year's Olympic time trial will set off and finish in the historic surrounds of Hampton Court Palace, it has been revealed.

The official London 2012 schedule, which offers a complete picture of all the action that will take place between Wednesday July 25 and Sunday, August 12 details how Wednesday August 1 will see cyclists setting out one by one from the favoured haunt of King Henry VIII, who "inherited" it in 1529 from its original, but by now out-of-favour owner Cardinal Wolsey.

"It will be a fantastic setting, and the main courtyard will offer us plenty of space to set up stands and all the necessary requirements for the competitors and broadcasters," a London 2012 spokeswoman told insidethegames.

She added that while negotiations were still to be completed with all relevant local authorities and stakeholders, much of the time trial course would be "in the same neck of the woods" as the road race course which was announced last week.

That race will see fields expected to include Britons Mark Cavendish and defending champion Nicole Cooke starting in The Mall and racing around the Home Counties, with nine separate climbs planned up Box Hill in Surrey before finishing near Buckingham Palace

At the request of the International Cycling Union, the time trial and the road race have been switched to more demanding settings from their original planned courses in north London, although the time trial is not expected to involve Box Hill at any point.

The men's road race will take place on the first main day of the programme on Saturday July 28, with the women's race scheduled for the following day.

Racing in the velodrome runs from Agust 2-7, with the BMX events scheduled for August 8-10 on the specialised circuit in the Olympic Park, and mountain biking for August 11-12 at Hadleigh Farm in Essex.

The first gold medal of the Games will be won in the women's 10 metre air rifle, the first of the shooting events, the same as in Beijing in 2008 when it was won by the Czech Republic's Kateřina Emmons (pictured).


But the Olympic action will start in three separate nations on Wednesday, July 25, when football matches take place at Coventry, Cardiff's Millennium Stadium and Hampden Park, Glasgow.

Each of these venues will host a second match on Thursday July 26, with additional games being played at Old Trafford and St James' Park.

Friday, July 27, the day of the Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, will also see archery getting underway at Lord's cricket ground.

The first full day of action on Saturday, July 28 will see the aquatics starting in the Olympic pool, running until August 4.

The diving events will be from July 29 to August 1, and from August 3-11. Synchronised swimming takes place from August 5-7, and from August 9-10. Water Polo runs from July 29-August 10, and also on August 12.

Athletics starts in the Olympic stadium on August 3, running until August 11.

For full details on the schedule click here.

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