Ahead of round 3 in Belfast, the pop-up street cycling event will visit cities all accross the UK with Boris Johnson's seal of approval...

The inner-city pop-up track racing event StreetVelodrome which sees amateur and professional riders take to a make-shift track has returned for 2016, and brings with it former London Mayor Boris Johnson's seal of approval.

Already onto its third round in Belfast this weekend, the annual series of free community cycling competitions has already taken in the Eden Project in Cornwall and the London Borough of Hillingdon in West London.

It was at the event in Hillingdon that Mr Johnson, who is the incumbent MP for the Uxbridge constituency within Hillingdon's bounds, gave his seal of approval to the event.

He said "StreetVelodrome is the absolute, most inspiring thing for cycling in London.”

Once round 3 in Belfast is complete the pop-up track will be popping up in locations all over Northern Ireland on a 'mini tour' before heading to Ballyclare for round 4, and back to the England for round 5 in Stockton, County Durham on June 23.

Street Velodrome will continue touring the country throughout July, culminating in the Superfinals at the Prudential RideLondon event on the 30th.

That final event puts the winners from the amateur competitions in each of the seven rounds of competition in groups alongside the 12 professionals that have taken part all summer for a team event.

Now in its third year the series has prided itself on its community engagement and grassroots development from its very first event in Stevenage back in 2014.

StreetVelodrome founder Carl Thompson recently told Sports Management magazine that the professionals aren't just there for the racing, they there to really bring the community engagement aspect of the series to life.

"We make a touchpoint between grassroots and pro-riders," Thompson said.

"Mountain biker Jess Stone teaches kids and then they come back and watch her race. It's about creating exciting moments which inspire for the future."

The free nature of the event is what allows kids to try things out, young cyclists to develop their skills, and allows the entire community to get involved.

That's made possible via revenue streams such as sponsorship, television rights, and the selling of the concept as a franchise.

That first year saw 30-minute highlight packages broadcast on Channel 4, this year will see the event broadcast as a similar TV series on BIKE channel and BT Sport. It has also been recently confirmed that StreetVelodrome will appear in the USA as a franchise in the coming years.

Last year's finale took place in Broadgate, London. The highlights package is below:

Elliot joined team road.cc bright eyed, bushy tailed, and straight out of university.

Raised in front of cathode ray tube screens bearing the images of Miguel Indurain and Lance Armstrong, Elliot's always had cycling in his veins.
His balance was found on a Y-framed mountain bike around South London suburbs in the 90s, while his first taste of freedom came when he claimed his father's Giant hybrid as his own at age 16.

When Elliot's not writing for road.cc about two-wheeled sustainable transportation, he's focussing on business sustainability and the challenges facing our planet in the years to come.