Gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy and other cycling stars took to two wheels today to mark the completion of the London 2012 Velodrome.
The 6,000 seat venue, which will host the Olympic and Paralympic Track Cycling events, has been finished on time and to budget after a construction project lasting nearly two years and involving 2,500 workers.
Riders from Team GB including Beijing Games medallists Victoria Pendleton, Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar tested the track for the first time today. They were joined by guests including Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson, Olympic Delivery Authority Chairman John Armitt and Seb Coe, chair of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
Mr Hunt said: “The progress on the Velodrome has been phenomenal and it is fitting that it should be the first venue on the Olympic Park to be finished, given the gold medal hopes we have for our British Olympic Track Cycling team at the Games. Watching Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton christen the track today was a historic first in the countdown to London 2012.”
Team GB cyclists “can’t wait” to compete on track
Sir Chris Hoy 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 London 2012 track cycling competition will take place over six days with 10 gold medals up for grabs. A total of 188 riders are set to compete.
After the Games, the legacy Velodrome will be used by elite athletes and the local community and will include a cafe, bike hire and cycle workshop facilities. A road cycle circuit and mountain bike course will be added to the Velodrome and BMX circuit to create the Lee Valley VeloPark, a single hub for different cycling disciplines which will be linked into cycle routes across London.