Velodrome Becomes First Completed Olympic Park Venue

February 22, 2011

The first London 2012 venue at the Olympic Park has been opened, with the Olympic Velodrome ready for riders ahead of next year’s event and Sir Chris Hoy declared he “can’t wait” for the Olympics after riding on the finished London 2012 cycle track for the first time.

Scotsman and four-time Olympic champion Hoy, was joined by fellow Beijing winners Victoria Pendleton and Jason Kenny plus a team of British sprint stars who are all aiming for London 2012 success. The cycling icon provided a much-needed cyclist’s viewpoint to the designers and architects about what is needed for the venue in Stratford, east London.

He stated: “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 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 VeloPark is expected to come in on budget at around £93m (US$150.3m). The facility is a 6,000-seat velodrome, complete with its sweeping roof designed to reflect the curve of the cycling track.

Building work began on in March 2009 and the development has now been handed over from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to the London 2012 organisers with tasks now ahead to install the temporary facilities, such as lighting and scoring, needed to turn it into a world class Olympic and Paralympic venue.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe described it as “a stunning venue built for champions”.

The construction took a team of 26 carpenters eight weeks to install the track and more than 350,000 nails were used to on its 56km of timber surface with organisers billing it as the world’s fastest cycling track, thanks to a range of tailored features including the track geometry plus the temperature and environmental conditions.

ODA chairman John Armitt added: “In delivering the velodrome on time and to budget we have completed our first Olympic Park venue and our biggest milestone to date.

“The striking architecture of the velodrome and the medal prospects of our world-leading cyclists mean the venue will become one of the defining images from the Games, and a landmark new building for future generations to enjoy.”

After the Games, the velodrome will be used by elite athletes and the local community and will include a cafe, bike hire and cycle workshop facilities.