LONDON (Reuters) - London 2012 organisers (LOCOG) say revised plans for spectators at this year's Olympic cycle road race will allow thousands of fans a prime spot at one of the most sought-after vantage points of the two-week sporting festival.
As many as 15,000 people will now be able to watch the world's best riders tackle the most spectacular and demanding part of the 120km road race route at Box Hill.
The cycle road race route starts and finishes in The Mall and winds its way south west of the capital where riders will encounter a loop through the undulating North Downs.
The 250km men's race will feature nine circuits of the Box Hill loop while the women will tackle the well-known beauty spot, which rises to above 200m, twice on their 140km course.
LOCOG say capacity on the Donkey Green area and Zig-Zag Road
incline at Box Hill, which will be ticketed, has been raised by 3,500 and that as many as 15,000 people could now be accommodated for the event in which Britain's Mark Cavendish is one of the leading favourites for a gold medal.
"We are delighted to welcome people to watch the Olympic Road Race from the Zig-Zag Road and Donkey Green at Box Hill," London 2012 Director of Sport Debbie Jevans said in a statement.
"We will give people the chance to see a generous amount of Road Race competition at one of the best stretches of road which we are able to do following the test event and our learnings.
"Spectators will have a unique viewing position on the route, there is another 120km of route which is free to spectators, including some great points through London and The Royal Parks."
British Cycling, which initially was disappointed with access for fans on the Box Hill section, said it was pleased with the changes.
"Following the test event, both myself and UCI president Pat McQuaid made our views about the unsatisfactory arrangements on Box Hill clear to LOCOG," British Cycling president Brian Cookson said in a statement.
"Both before and since that time, there has been considerable input from the technical representatives of both bodies into the planning process, and I am pleased that this, together with the public and media pressure, has now resulted in a much more satisfactory situation for cycling fans than had originally been the case."