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Paris gets new cycling centre

Riders test out the Laoshan Velodrome at the last Beijing World Cup

Riders test out the Laoshan Velodrome at the last Beijing World Cup (Image credit: AFP)

Rama Yade, France's secretary of state for sports, presented this week the project of a national cycling centre to be built in St-Quentin-en-Yvelines, near Paris. The project includes an indoor velodrome and BMX track, the first in Europe. Athletes' living facilities and the French cycling federation's (FFC) new headquarters will be built to complete the centre. Its scheduled opening date is in 2013.

The new cycling centre will be financed through public as well as private funds, with its total cost estimated at €74 million. The velodrome, which will be designed by Beijing track architect Ralph Schuermann, is will be 250 metres long and eight metres wide. The centre will include 3500 seats.

The centre will be built close to the hill of Elancourt, which will provide a connection to mountain bike racing.

"Other countries increase their efforts in track cycling, mountain bike and BMX," said Yade. "We cannot rest on our laurels. With this instrument, France will be capable of welcoming great sports events."

FFC president David Lappartient has already said he wants the centre to be host the 2014 track cycling World Championships.

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