London 2012 Velodrome Unveiled
British cyclists including Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Jason Kenny took to the track in the London 2012 Velodrome for the first time today as the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) unveiled the first Olympic Park venue to finish construction.
The 6,000 seat Velodrome will host the Olympic and Paralympic Track Cycling events in 2012. After the Games, the legacy Velodrome will be used by elite athletes and the local community and will include a café, bike hire and cycle workshop facilities.
It will be part of the Lee Valley VeloPark that will include a road cycle circuit as well as bmx and mountain bike trails. The ODA has been working with Sport England, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and British Cycling to ensure the VeloPark provides a lasting mass participation legacy for all types of cycling at all levels.
Sport England is investing £10.5 million of National Lottery funding in the venue, in addition to the considerable Lottery investment in the infrastructure of the Olympic Park and other Olympic facilities made through the Olympic Lottery Distributor.
ODA Chairman John Armitt said:
“In delivering the Velodrome on time and to budget we have completed our first Olympic Park venue and our biggest milestone to-date. The striking architecture of the Velodrome and the medal prospects of our world-leading cyclists mean the venue will become one of the defining images from the Games, and a landmark new building for future generations to enjoy.”
Seb Coe, Chair of LOCOG said:
“This is a stunning venue built for champions, and designed for legacy. The ODA has done a terrific job. Over the next 18 months LOCOG will be testing the venue and installing the temporary facilities needed for an Olympic and Paralympic competition Velodrome. The British cycling teams provided many of the team GB superstars in recent Games and I am proud to see them on the track for the first time today.”
Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, said:
“We’re delighted that our expertise and National Lottery investment are helping to ensure a mass participation legacy for all those inspired by the Games to get back on a bike – from budding track cyclists and BMX riders to families who want a day out on their bikes.”
Backed by Sport England investment, British Cycling is driving real growth in the sport. In England, the number of adults cycling once a week has risen by 100,000 in the past two years alone.
Ian Drake, Chief Executive of British Cycling, said:
“This fantastic Velodrome will be nothing but an inspiration to our Olympic and Paralympic riders in 2012. Indeed, with the continued growth in popularity of cycling, anyone who is inspired to ride by the likes of Hoy or Pendleton will benefit.”
The legacy VeloPark will be owned and operated by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, whose Chairman, Derrick Ashley, said:
“Today is a huge milestone on the route to achieving Lee Valley Regional Park Authority’s long held vision for a VeloPark in the Lee Valley. The stunning Velodrome will sit at the heart of this wonderful cycling hub, which will draw in 250,000 visitors a year, from those learning to cycle, to famous names setting world records, all backed by a comprehensive events programme ranging from community events, to school races and world championships, 52 weeks of the year.”