The 2024 Olympic mountain bike cross country event is to be held on an artificial hill 35 km southwest of Paris.
The Colline d'Elancourt is the highest point in the Ile-de-France region, rising to 231 metres above sea level at its peak with around 80 metres of elevation. The hill stands on the site of a former quarry that became a dumping ground after the Second World War. It was filled with excavation material, earth, car scrap and rubble from the development of the nearby town of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines until it reached its current height in 1992 when it was designated as a landmark and hub for outdoor activities. The hill overlooks the city of Paris and apparently the Eiffel Tower can be seen from the summit
The site was first earmarked as a potential venue for mountain biking during Paris' failed 2012 Olympic bid and a network of trails have since developed there culminating in the National Championships of the Fédération Sportive et Gymnique du Travail in 2016.
The last race held on the hill was the National Championships of the Federation Sportive et Gymnique du Travail in 2016, hopefully the 10 million Euro of allocated funding can be used to vastly improve the trails and create a course to rival the Izu Peninsula track from Tokyo.
Environmentalists have apparently been protesting against the use of the hill, and Chamonix was floated as a possible alternate venue, but the proposal was set in stone after minimal deforestation and construction were promised. Local media is reporting
that a further €10 million of work will be carried out on the trails before the 2024 Games to bring the course to life. Nick Floros, who worked on both the Rio and Tokyo courses, will design the new course that will apparently be 95% based on the current trails
. After the Games, an 18km green trail and skills area will be open and available for use by the public.