17.1.09

FLATLAND, INDEED. The Chicago Olympic plan now includes the Tour de Madison and mountain biking near Mount Horeb.

Chicago 2016 announced plans to shift Olympic road cycling and mountain biking events to Madison, Wis.

The cycling event would begin on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, head east through downtown Madison and finish in Blue Mound State Park.

Mountain biking would take place in Tyrol Basin, a popular winter ski and snowboard destination sure to challenge Olympic athletes.

Madison is home to one of the nation's most extensive bike trail systems. Trek, a manufacturer of specialty bikes, is also headquartered in the area. Biking events were originally scheduled to be held in the Palos area.

"Chicago 2016 has consistently placed athletes at the center of our Games plan," Chicago 2016 Chairman Pat Ryan said. "Our constituents emphasized their desire for technical and challenging courses. We believe the natural terrain found in Madison will exceed their expectations and make for an ideal competitive environment."

No word yet on whether the Capital 400 will be back to provide hassle-free transportation.

I may have biked that road course, although probably not all in one go, and definitely not at world-class speeds.

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