London 2012 Velodrome Opens In Olympic Park First
London 2012 today unveiled its brand new velodrome - the first Olympic Park venue to be completed. The 6,000-seat venue will host the Olympic and Paralympic track cycling events in 2012 before becoming a velodrome for elite athletes and the local community, with a café, bike hire and cycle workshops in legacy. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) started work on the velodrome in March 2009, with construction now completed nearly 18 months before the start of the Games.
“I can’t wait!”
Sir Chris Hoy, triple gold medal-winner at the Beijing 2008 Games and the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time, said: “Having been involved in a very small way in the design process in the early stages, it's amazing to see the velodrome finally completed, and to be able to have ridden on it today gives me a feel for what it’s going to be like in a year-and-a-half’s time. I can't wait!”
The 250-metre UCI (International Cycling Union)-approved track has been designed with the aim of creating the world’s fastest cycling track, by tailoring the geometry and setting the temperature and environmental conditions within the venue to create record-breaking conditions. The track has been laid out with seating all the way around in order to ensure the best possible crowd atmosphere during competitions. A team of 26 specialist carpenters installed the track over an eight-week period, fixing the 56km of sustainably-sourced Siberian pine into place with 350,000 nails. After the Games, the velodrome will be part of a bigger cycling legacy for the region, as a road cycle circuit and mountain bike course will be added to the BMX course and velodrome to create the Lee Valley VeloPark.
London was elected as the Host City for the Games of the XXX Olympiad on 6 July 2005 at the 117th IOC Session in Singapore. London eventually succeeded in the fourth round of voting, taking 54 votes from a possible 104. London faced stiff opposition during the vote from the other four candidate cities: Paris, New York, Moscow and Madrid. There will be 26 sports on the Olympic Programme in London in 2012 and around 10,500 athletes.