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2012 Olympics velodrome unveiled in London

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The velodrome is the first venue to be completed

The velodrome is the first venue to be completed
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The Olympic Games start in 521 days

The Olympic Games start in 521 days
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Pat MqQuaid attended

Pat MqQuaid attended
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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It wouldn't be a velodrome without track bikes

It wouldn't be a velodrome without track bikes
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The track team came down for a light training session and media day

The track team came down for a light training session and media day
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The British track team were there for a media show and training sessions

The British track team were there for a media show and training sessions
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Victoria Pendleton may retire after the Games

Victoria Pendleton may retire after the Games
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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London Mayor Boris Johnson and Sir Chris Hoy

London Mayor Boris Johnson and Sir Chris Hoy
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Chris Hoy (Great Britain)

Chris Hoy (Great Britain)
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The track riders get ready for their first outing onto the track

The track riders get ready for their first outing onto the track
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Chris Hoy will be a hot favourite at the Olympics

Chris Hoy will be a hot favourite at the Olympics
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The UK media came out in force for the event

The UK media came out in force for the event
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Hoy and the other riders were impressed with the new track

Hoy and the other riders were impressed with the new track
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The banking at the new velodrome

The banking at the new velodrome
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The GB track team will be looking to break records at next year's Games

The GB track team will be looking to break records at next year's Games
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The Mayor of London was excited to see the first Olympic venue open

The Mayor of London was excited to see the first Olympic venue open
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Seb Coe talks with some of the 2012 track team

Seb Coe talks with some of the 2012 track team
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The far side of the track from the main entrance

The far side of the track from the main entrance
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The new track will hold next year's track World Cup

The new track will hold next year's track World Cup
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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The new Olympic velodrome

The new Olympic velodrome
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)
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Dave Brailsford talks to the folk at the BBC

Dave Brailsford talks to the folk at the BBC
(Image credit: Daniel Simms)

The 2012 London Olympics moved a step closer today with the unveiling of the 6,000 capacity velodrome in London. It’s the first Olympic venue to be completed, and with 521 days to go until the Games begin, a host of cycling dignitaries attended.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson called the venue a “fantastic theatre of sport,” while British Cycling’s Dave Brailsford added that the site had the potential to be a world record-beating venue.

The new velodrome will play host to a track World Cup round next year but today the cream of the nation’s track riders, including Victoria Pendleton and Sir Chris Hoy took to the boards in a staged training session.

“If you take all the best bits out of all the velodromes in the World and put them all together, this is what you get,” said Brailsford.

“The concourse, the way the seats have been designed, it’s all a great idea. It’s a great track with some clever access and flow from the infield as well. It’s just difficult to fault it.”

Perhaps more importantly, Brailsford believes that the track itself is of the highest possible standard and that in the correct circumstances, London 2012 could well see a number of records fall.

“There’s no reason why this can’t be the fastest track in the world but you need a lot of things to be right,” Brailsford said. “You all also need the right conditions.”

In any case, over a year ahead of the main event, the Olympic velodrome is already exerting its own particular mystique.

“The riders were so excited to come down here,” Brailsford said. “When you’re waking up at five in the morning, not being able to sleep about it, then you know you’re in the right place.”