The Olympic VeloPark has officially opened in Stratford, East London, two years after the 2012 Games saw record numbers of British cyclists achieve medals.
The park, which cost £100m to ready for the public, will be open to allcomers to participate in track, BMX, MTB and road activities, including a mile long road circuit, floodlit for evening use, and eventually a five mile mountain bike loop.
In fact, it’s a world first to have a facility combining all these disciplines, and prices to enjoy them begin fro £4.
According to Carlton Reid of BikeBiz who attended the opening: “VIPs and members of the press were shown around the facilities.
“140 young people from five local schools were on hand to appear in live TV bulletins and in newspaper photographs.
“Blue skies and bright sunshine – and Laura Trott and Mark Colbourne – were on hand to remind everybody of the 2012 Olympic Games. Olympic and Paralympic champions Trott and Colbourne are the official VeloPark ambassadors.
“The riders did a number of - slow - circuits of the velodrome’s track to open the venue. Earlier, journalists had been allowed to take part in track, MTB, road and BMX sessions, looked after by Go-Ride coaches.
“Lee Valley Regional Park Authority estimate that up to 500,000 people will visit the VeloPark each year.”
For a close-up view of what you can expect on a trip to the VeloPark, check out this first-hand video of the new road circuit:
Before the whole park opens to the public on March 31st, the Revolution series will welcome some of the stars of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games back to the Velodrome on 14 and 15 March for final of the Revolution track cycling series.
Olympic track champions Laura Trott, Jason Kenny and Ed Clancy will all race along with current National Road Race champion and Olympic silver medalist Lizzie Armitstead.
Shortly afterwards, the popular Bespoked handmade bicycle will head there, its new home for 2014 being the Velopark, moving from Bristol to Lee Valley. The dates for your diary are 11-13th April 2014.
It’s already possible to book sessions at the VeloPark; to do so click here.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.