Organisers of next year’s London Olympics have confirmed that track cycling is one of the first events to have sold out after the first wave of ticket applications closed on Tuesday evening. If you’re successful in the ballot, you’ll have to wait until June to find out exactly which tickets you’ve been given, although the money for them will be taken out of your account on 10 May.
It’s unsurprising that tickets for the Velodrome have proved such a draw, given that the venue has a capacity of just 6,000 seats as well as Britain’s success at the Beijing Olympics three years ago. With other countries, led by Australia, enjoying success at World Championships since then, track cycling could provide some of the most thrilling moments of the Games.
Some 95% of the 20 million applications for 6.6 million tickets across all sports came from the UK, and if that pattern is reflected in track cycling, it means that the likes of Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton will be cheered on by a partisan crowd as they chase gold in the nation’s capital.
Other sell-out events are rhythmic gymnastics, triathlon, modern pentathlon, equestrian (cross-country) and the opening and closing ceremonies, while most sessions in tennis and swimming have also been over-subscribed.
Sebastian Coe, chair of organising committee LOCOG, said: “We are thrilled with the response right across the board, in all sports and all sessions. Certain events have seen massive demand – for example the Opening Ceremony, which is more than 10 times oversubscribed – so there will understandably be disappointment and we will find a way to go back to those people with other tickets.
“What is most encouraging is that the majority of applications are for multiple tickets and for several sports, which shows that friends and family are planning to go to the Games together.”
If you weren’t successful in your initial application, you will be given a chance to apply for remaining tickets in June and July – although clearly, track cycling won’t be one of the sports available.
Of course, not all Olympic events require you to go through the ticketing process, and the great news from a cycling fan’s point of view is that both the men’s and women’s road races are free to view, apart from the grandstands by the start and finish in The Mall, while the time trials, based around Hampton Court Palace, is entirely free.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.