250m wood track surface in place, finishing touches await
The venue for the 2012 London Olympic Games track cycling events is nearly complete, and was visited today by representatives from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who were impressed with the progress.
IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald viewed the newly completed 250m track, surfaced with Siberian pine timbers. The velodrome is on target to be the first Olympic Park venue to be completed, and only awaits installation of its 6,000 seats, completion of the external timber cladding, infield and changing room areas.
Following the Games, a road circuit and mountain bike course will be added to the venue, which together with the velodrome and BMX circuit will make up the Lee Valley VeloPark.
"Every visit to the Olympic Park provides us with yet another impressive sign of the progress that is being made here and today's visit is no exception," said Oswald. "As an amateur cyclist, it's fantastic to see the finished track in London's new velodrome."
London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, looked beyond the Games to how the facility will impact the community. "Providing a lasting legacy is our overriding vision for the London Games and the velodrome will be an essential part of that. With the cycling revolution currently gripping the capital, I hope this new flagship facility will encourage many more to watch or take up this exciting sport helping to make London the best cycling city in the world."
Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority which will own and operate the velodrome, said the facility will be an "inspirational venue". "We are working closely with British Cycling, the host boroughs and other agencies to develop legacy plans that provide opportunities from introductory sessions through to elite training and create an all year round vibrant and sustainable cycling venue."
The velodrome is also expected to be quick enough to facilitate new records in the 10 events which will make up the Olympic track cycling programme. It is being constructed by ISG, who resurfaced the Manchester Velodrome, and designed by Ron Webb, who has helped deliver more than 60 cycling tracks to date, including the velodromes used for the Sydney and Athens Games as well as the Manchester velodrome.