Historic event in South London celebrates 110th birthday a week tomorrow

It’s hard to believe that Easter is just around the corner, but next week sees Herne Hill Velodrome host its annual Good Friday meeting, this year celebrating its 110th birthday, with Great Britain’s Andy Tennant and Germany’s Robert Förstemann, plus Paralympic stars Jody Cundy and Jon-Allan Butterworth, among the big names taking to the historic South London track.

Also appearing – though not racing – will be Great Britain’s latest star at world level, Becky James, winner of the individual sprint and keirin at the UCI Track World Championships in Minsk last month.

The gates will open at 9.30am for spectators for a 10.30am start, with event finals commencing at 1pm. Commentary will be provided from start to finish by Eurosport’s David Harmon.

Riders from 11 countries will be among the 148 competitors, including some from overseas who spend the winter riding the Six-Day circuit – from Germany, Christian Grassman, Nico Hesslich, Marcel Kalz, and Leif Lampater, with Italy’s Manuel Cazzaro also featuring.

Kalz will be defending his title in the Golden Wheel 20k scratch race, worth £1,000 to the winner – the biggest purse in a total prize fund for the meeting of £4,610 – which will bring the day to a close at around 5.30pm.

Prior to that, there’s a full programme of racing of course, with highlights including a moto-paced 40-lap race featuring seven riders, with the pacing provided by Triumph Thunderbird motorbikes.

Some 22 female riders will feature in the programme, with three women-specific events – sprint, keirin and scratch races – and they will also take on the men in the 5 mile and elimination races.

Besides ‘cycle jumble’ stalls there will also be Bike Bling and other cycling-related stalls, as well as a Real Ale Bar, coffee and hot food outlets.

Tickets, available in advance through the event website or on the gate, cost £12 for adults and £6 for 12-16s, while admission is free for under-12s.

With no on-site car parking for spectators (other than those needing disabled parking, who should contact the organisers), those attending are asked to come by bike or on public transport – Herne Hill Station is a few minutes’ walk away, as is North Dulwich.

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.