Work to install the timber track of the London 2012 Velodrome has been completed this week, coinciding with a visit by the next Olympic Games by IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald.
Putting the Western Red Cedar planks in position reflects a key milestone in the construction of the 6,000-seat venue, which next year should become the first to be completed in London’s Olympic Park.
Following his visit, where he was accompanied by a group containing Seb Coe, chair of LOCOG, Mr Oswald, in London as part of a Coordination Commssion visit, said: “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.
“As an amateur cyclist, it's fantastic to see the finished track in London's new Velodrome. I'm sure that athletes like Chris Hoy will love competing here in 2012 and that future generations of cyclists, like the two youngsters with us today, will be inspired to continue cycling thanks to the quality of the facilities that will be available to them in legacy.’
ODA Chairman John Armitt commented: “Completing the Velodrome track is another significant milestone, keeping the venue on course to be completed early next year and showing the good progress we continue to make across the Olympic Park.
“Seeing the Velodrome track in place gives us an exciting glimpse of where we hope new records will be broken in 2012 and where a new generation of cyclists will be able to take to the track after the Games.”
Seb Coe added: “This will be a world-class track in 2012 producing world-class performances. I’m thrilled to be visiting the venue with two enthusiastic young people who are passionate about the Games and two local cyclists who are excited about using the Velodrome after the Games. “
“We’ve always stated we wanted to use the power of the Games to inspire young people to choose sport and hopefully today’s visit will inspire them even more.'
The London Velodrome track has been specifically designed to be the fastest in the world, and Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, said: 'Having recently seen the British Cycling team in training, I know what an exciting spectator event track cycling is.
“With what we hope to be the fastest cycling track in the world, the iconic London 2012 Velodrome promises to host a fantastic competition with many world record- breaking performances. The all-around seating design will help create a great atmosphere for spectators and athletes.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson hoped that the new facility would help inspire Londoners to become involved in cycling, whether as participants or spectators.
“As the finishing line is painted on the magnificent new Velodrome track, it signals we are well on schedule to deliver a fantastic Games in 2012. Providing a lasting legacy is our overriding vision for the London Games and the Velodrome will be an essential part of that,” he said.
“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.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.