Boris_Johnson_on_bikeSeptember 3 - London Mayor Boris Johnson (pictured) has backed a campaign to stop the route for the cycle road race to be used in the 2012 Olympics being changed to include Windsor Park.

As insidethegames revealed two days ago, cycling's world governing body UCI have requested that the proposed course, which was set to start and finish in Regent's Park, on a circuit taking in  Highgate West Hill, around Hampstead Heath and back down through Kentish Town and Primrose Hill, with the men's race due to complete 14 laps, is changed to make it more attractive to a global television audience.

They want the course to rival the one used for last year's Olympics in Beijing which started in Tiananmen Square and finished on the Great Wall of China, one of the eight wonders of the world.

Under revised plans, the race in 2012 could now start at a London landmark like the House of Commons and head out towards Eton and Windsor Castle before finishing outside Buckingham Palace.

But Johnson, himself a keen cyclist, has claimed that the course should not be changed.

He said: "It will be a struggle to better a route that includes Regent's Park, Highgate and Hampstead.”

Johnson's support has encouraged campaigners in Camden who want to ensure that the race is not moved.

Camden Councillor Paul Braithwaite, who is the Borough's Cycling Champions, said: "It is an encouraging answer.

"The road cycling is the one opportunity available to citizens in London to see for free.

"It is the one opportunity to see an exciting event up close and personal.

"I would cautiously welcome Boris's words but we would like to see circuits around Camden, not just a race going through it.

"This is what we had in 2006 [under the original plans]."

A final decision is expected later this year after consultation between London 2012 and the UCI.

Related stories: 
September 2009:
 Exclusive: Cycling route for London 2012 set to be changed so it rivals Beijing