The 6,000 seat Velodrome will host the Olympic and Paralympic Track Cycling events in 2012. After the Games, the legacy Velodrome will be used by elite athletes and the local community and will include a café, bike hire and cycle workshop facilities. The ODA started work on the Velodrome in March 2009 with construction now completed and the first Olympic Park venue in place nearly 18 months before the start of the Games.
Selected riders from the Great Britain Cycling Team tried out the Velodrome for the first time today including Beijing Games medal winners Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar, together with rising stars and established names in the GB cycling team. The cyclists were joined in unveiling the Velodrome by ODA Chairman John Armitt, Seb Coe Chair of the London Organising Committee (LOCOG), Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and other guests.
Sir Chris Hoy, triple gold medal-winner at the Beijing Games and the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time, said: 'Having been involved in a very small way in the design process in the early stages, it's amazing to see the Velodrome finally completed, and to be able to have ridden on it today gives me a feel for what it's going to be like in a year and a half's time. I can't wait!'
ODA Chairman John Armitt said: 'In delivering the Velodrome on time and to budget we have completed our first Olympic Park venue and our biggest milestone to-date. The striking architecture of the Velodrome and the medal prospects of our world-leading cyclists mean the venue will become one of the defining images from the Games, and a landmark new building for future generations to enjoy. The architect, engineers and contractor have worked together to produce a stunning and sustainable building – it is a worthy venue to be first past the Olympic Park finishing line and a testament to the hard work of those on site.'
Seb Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: 'This is a stunning venue built for champions, and designed for legacy. The ODA has done a terrific job. Over the next 18 months LOCOG will be testing the venue and installing the temporary facilities needed for an Olympic and Paralympic competition Velodrome. The British cycling teams provided many of the team GB superstars in recent Games and I am proud to see them on the track for the first time today.'
Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said: 'The progress on the Velodrome has been phenomenal and it is fitting that it should be the first venue on the Olympic Park to be finished, given the gold medal hopes we have for our British Olympic Track Cycling team at the Games. Watching Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton christen the track today was a historic first in the countdown to London 2012.'
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'This magnificent venue is a triumph for all those involved in its design and construction. Already an icon for the London Games, with its sweeping roof and sleek ribbon of track, the Velodrome is poised for our world-beating cycling team to smash records in the summer of 2012 and inspire a new generation of racers to take to the saddle. There is no doubt that the Velodrome will be the venue of choice after the Games, both by the community and for major international competitions for years to come, helping to make London the cycling capital of the world.'
Ian Drake, Chief Executive of British Cycling, said: 'This fantastic Velodrome will be nothing but an inspiration to our Olympic and Paralympic riders in 2012. Indeed, with the continued growth in popularity of cycling, anyone who is inspired to ride by the likes of Hoy or Pendleton will benefit. Put alongside our home in Manchester and the forthcoming Velodrome in Glasgow we are in a really strong position to further build upon our status as the world’s leading track cycling nation with world-class facilities that are second to none.'
Pat McQuaid, President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), said: 'The structural completion of the Velodrome today is a significant milestone in the delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic project, and we thank London 2012 for their work to date. The popularity of cycling is increasing every year both in the UK and globally. We are confident that the cycling events in 2012 will produce worthy winners and spectacular events for spectators and help with the further growth of our sport.'
The Olympic Lottery Distributor is investing up to £1.8 billion of National Lottery funding in the infrastructure of the Olympic Park and other Olympic facilities across the UK. Rt Hon Dame Janet Paraskeva, Chair of The Olympic Lottery Distributor said: 'This is an important milestone in the delivery of the Olympic Park and National Lottery players can really start to see where their money has been invested with the completion of this truly world class facility. We look forward to the rest of the Park progressing over the next few months.'
The construction of the Velodrome and the legacy VeloPark facilities includes funding from Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA), Sport England, Transport for London (TfL), and the London Marathon Charitable Trust (LMCT).
Derrick Ashley, Chairman of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, which will own and operate the Velodrome in legacy, said: 'Today is a huge milestone on the route to achieving Lee Valley Regional Park Authority’s long held vision for a VeloPark in the Lee Valley. For three decades this site was home to our Eastway Cycle Circuit and we expect Lee Valley VeloPark to build on this glorious cycling heritage and produce tomorrow’s champions. The stunning Velodrome will sit at the heart of this wonderful cycling hub, which will draw in 250,000 visitors a year, from those learning to cycle, to famous names setting world records, all backed by a comprehensive events programme ranging from community events, to school races and world championships, 52 weeks of the year.'
Sport England is investing £10.5 million of National Lottery funding in this venue. Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, said: 'We’re delighted that our expertise and National Lottery investment are helping to ensure a mass participation legacy for all those inspired by the Games to get back on a bike – from budding track cyclists and BMX riders to families who want a day out on their bikes.'
London Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy, said: 'In recent years London really has become a city that cycles, and we continue to invest record amounts to transform facilities for people who want to get around the city on two wheels. The Games are a unique opportunity to build on that growth in cycling and we are delighted to have contributed to the creation of the Velodrome, which will leave an invaluable source of inspiration and legacy for Londoners.'
David Golton, Chief Executive of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, said: 'We welcome the completion of this wonderful building and we are delighted to confirm our commitment to the provision of legacy facilities at the VeloPark. The Velodrome and later facilities will help to achieve one of the objectives of the London 2012 Games - one which has been shared by the Trust for over 30 years – to ensure a lasting benefit for the whole community.'
The Velodrome was built by contractor ISG. The design team for the VeloPark is made up of Hopkins Architects, Expedition Engineering, and BDSP who were appointed in 2007 following a design competition judged by leading names from the world of architecture and design as well as Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy.
Craig Tatton, ISG’s UK Construction Managing Director said: 'ISG is proud to have delivered this iconic venue safely, on budget and ahead of programme. The Velodrome is, quite rightly, receiving many plaudits for design, sustainability and excellence in delivery and we are proud of our contribution to the first-completed venue on the Olympic Park. Our involvement has been a fantastic experience for ISG and the overall delivery on the Olympic Park is an accolade to the wider UK construction industry. We will be looking to take all that we've achieved and learned out into other schemes both with the London Boroughs and our broader client base in the public and private sectors. We wish all the other venues the very best as they also come to a successful completion.'
Mike Taylor, Senior Partner of Hopkins Architects: 'We set out with the ambition to combine architecture, engineering and cycling to create a unique design worthy of London 2012. Hopefully this philosophy is now evident in the way the completed building expresses the dynamism of the internal timber track in its curved form
and emulates the efficiency of the bicycle in all aspects of its engineering, and when the VeloPark is complete all forms of cycling will be visible from the concourse. It is the culmination of much hard work from a fantastic team and we are all extremely proud of the end result.'
3. The Lee Valley Park Regional Authority will own, manage and fund the London 2012 White Water Canoe Centre just north of the M25, the VeloPark, and Tennis Centre and Hockey Centre on the Olympic Park in legacy, ensuring all four are well used by a variety of target groups from beginners to elite athletes with extensive community use, outreach and sports development programmes.
They will join the other regional sports venues the Authority owns including the award winning Lee Valley Athletics Centre to create a chain of sporting excellence along the 26 mile long Lee Valley Regional Park. The Park attracts more that four million visitors a year to its 10,000 acres of sport and leisure activities, heritage sites, gardens, nature reserves and riverside trails.
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For further information please contact the Olympic Delivery Authority Press Office on +44 (0)203 2012 700.
The construction of the venues and infrastructure of the London 2012 Games is funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Mayor of London and the London Development Agency.
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Velodrome fact file:
- 250m UCI (International Cycling Union) approved indoor track
- 6,000 seats and 360 degree concourse in legacy for viewing all cycling activities
- Legacy café, changing rooms, cycle workshop, & storage for over 300 bikes with a legacy bike hire outlet for families to hire bikes to use the new cycling facilities
- Venue will be linked into cycle routes across London
- After the Games, a road cycle circuit and mountain bike course will be added to the Velodrome and BMX circuit to create the Lee Valley VeloPark, combining cycling facilities across all disciplines in one cycling ‘hub’
- The legacy VeloPark will be owned and operated by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
- There will be 10 gold medals to be won in the London 2012 Velodrome, five for men and five for women.
- There will be five events for men and five for women: Sprint, Team Sprint, Keirin, Team Pursuit, and The Omnium
- 188 riders will compete in London 2012
- The track cycling competition will take place over six days in London 2012
- Distinct Velodrome roof designed to reflect the geometry of the cycling track, using a very lightweight double curving cable net structure
- The 6,000 seats are split into a lower and upper tier, allowing a 360 degrees concourse level in between with a continuous ribbon of full height windows
- The 360 degree glazed concourse level in legacy will offer spectators inside the Velodrome views out onto the rest of the Olympic Park and across the London skyline, while allowing people outside of the Velodrome views into the venue and down onto the cycling track
- The Velodrome was constructed over a period of 23 months with up to 450 workers on site at the peak of construction and 2,500 workers involved through the course of the project
- Some 48,000 cubic metres of material was excavated to create the bowl for the Velodrome, enough to fill 19 Olympic-sized swimming pools
- 2,500 sections of steelwork were installed to form the Velodrome structure, rising in height by 12 metres from the shallowest point to the highest part of the structure
- The cable-net roof lift took eight weeks to complete and features some 16km of cabling, covering an area of 12,000m2
- The striking outer cladding of the venue uses 5,000m2 of Western Red Cedar timber
- The Velodrome has been designed with the aim of creating the world’s fastest cycling track by tailoring the track geometry and setting the temperature and environmental conditions within the venue to create record-breaking conditions
- The venue has also been being designed with seating all the way round the track to create the best possible crowd atmosphere during events.
- Renowned Velodrome track designer Ron Webb oversaw the design and installation of the 2012 track having previously worked on the Sydney and Athens Velodromes
- A team of 26 specialist carpenters installed the cycling track over a period of 8 weeks
- 56km of surface timber from a sustainably-sourced Siberian pine was laid to form the track surface, fixed into place with more than 350,000 nails
- The building has been designed to be lightweight and efficient to reflect the efficient design of a bicycle
- The use of abundant daylight through strategically positioned rooflights reduces need for artificial lighting, and natural ventilation is achieved through openings in the external timber cladding of the venue
- Water saving fittings and collection of rainwater for reuse in building are built into design to help reduce water consumption
- Compact design minimises energy consumed to heat the main arena
- Lightweight cable-net roof structure weighs 30kg/m2 compared to 65kg/m2 for the Beijing Velodrome, helping create a highly efficient building
1. Images of the completed Velodrome and today’s unveiling event can be downloaded from http://mm.gettyimages.com/mm/nicePath/locog?nav=pr147209717
2. The British cyclists at the Velodrome event were:
- Sir Chris Hoy – triple Gold medal winner at the Beijing Games and the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time
- Victoria Pendleton – Beijing Games Gold medal winner, Women's Individual Sprint
- Jason Kenny – Beijing Gold medal winner, Team Sprint and Silver medal winner, Sprint event
- Ross Edgar – Beijing Silver medal winner, Men's Keirin
- Shanaze Reade – GB sprint team and BMX Cycling World Champion 2010
- Pete Mitchell – GB sprint team
- Jess Varnish – GB sprint team
- Dave Daniell – GB sprint team
- Matt Crampton – GB sprint team
- Becky James – GB sprint team