Triple Beijing gold medal-winning Olympic hero Chris Hoy unveiled plans for new world-class cycling facilities in London for cyclists of all ages and abilities today as the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) released the latest designs for the London 2012 VeloPark by London-based Hopkins Architects.
Rendering of the London 2012 Velopark (Image: Gettyimages)
The VeloPark, to be based in the north of the Olympic Park, will include a 6,000 seat Velodrome to host the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic indoor track cycling events as well as a BMX circuit for Olympic events. After the Games, a road cycle circuit and mountain bike course will be added to create a legacy VeloPark that will combine cycling facilities across all disciplines in one cycling â€˜hubâ€™. The VeloPark will be linked into cycle routes across London, connecting the whole of the capital with the new world-class cycling facilities.
Rendering of the London 2012 Velopark Interior (Image: Gettyimages)
Chris Hoy, together with Mayor of London Boris Johnson, LOCOG Chairman Seb Coe, ODA Chief Executive David Higgins and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority Chief Executive Shaun Dawson visited the Olympic Park site today to unveil the latest VeloPark plans. The designs include:
- A 6,000 seat Velodrome - to host the Olympic and Paralympic indoor track cycling events in 2012, and be used by elite athletes and the local community after the Games. The legacy Velodrome will include a cafÃ© and other facilities and the venue design includes a 360 degree concourse level offering fantastic views over the Olympic Park, and out to the London skyline
- BMX circuit â€“ to host Olympic events in 2012 and then be reconfigured for use by cyclists of all levels of ability after the Games
- Road cycle circuit â€“ built after the Games, offering cyclists a one-mile circuit
- Mountain bike course â€“ created after the Games, offering around a 6km course with a range of mountain bike trails for riders of various abilities
Chris Hoy, the first Briton in 100 years to win three gold medals at the same Olympic Games, said:
‘Winning gold in Beijing was an unbelievable experience so itâ€™s great to come to London to visit the site where I hope Team GB will win lots more gold medals in 2012. Becoming Olympic champion simply wouldnâ€™t have been possible without the local cycling facilities I used when I was growing up so Iâ€™m delighted to help launch the designs of the London 2012 VeloPark which will provide first-class facilities for cyclists of all ages and abilities.
‘I have been hugely impressed with the VeloPark designs which Iâ€™m sure will help deliver some world-class performances from athletes in 2012 and inspire a whole new generation of cycling champions for many years after the Games.’
Rendering of the London 2012 Velopark BMX Circuit (Image: Gettyimages)
David Higgins, Chief Executive of the ODA said:
‘The tremendous success of British cyclists in Beijing underlines the importance of delivering a world-class stage for elite athletes in 2012, but we are planning for Games-time and legacy together and our VeloPark plans are also looking ahead to a new generation of cyclists.
‘As the latest designs show, the VeloPark will be one of the biggest legacies of the 2012 Games, delivering world-class facilities for cyclists of all ages and abilities to use for years to come. The Velodrome is another striking piece of architecture for the Olympic Park and together with the wider cycling facilities to be built after the Games, this will be a landmark new venue for London.’
Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee, said:
‘The tremendous success of our cyclists was at the forefront of Team GBâ€™s achievements in Beijing so I am delighted to unveil the plans for the venue where I hope our cyclists will continue to strike gold in 2012. Our VeloPark plans are driven by legacy and these facilities are not only for our record-breaking cyclists to use in 2012, but to bring a new generation of cyclists into the sport for years to come and develop the Chris Hoy, Rebecca Romero and Shanaze Reade of the future.’
Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said:
‘Having just had a taste of outstanding sporting architecture at this yearâ€™s Olympic Games in Beijing, it is exciting to see the latest plans for our own VeloPark. The designs meet the challenging brief to provide not only a first-class Games time venue but also a springboard in legacy for future British Olympians and will make a valuable contribution to increasing sports participation from grassroots to elite level.’
At the London 2012 Velopark press conference: Chair of the London Organising Committee Sebastian Coe, British cycling gold medalist Chris Hoy, and the Mayor of London Boris Johnson (left to right, image: Gettyimages)
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
‘The VeloPark is going to be an outstanding iconic landmark that will be admired around the world and I can’t wait to see the finished structure packed to the rafters cheering on Team GB cyclists as once again they go for gold in 2012. It will also provide an excellent legacy of facilities for every type of cyclist from across the south of England and be able to compete to stage major cycling competitions and events in the years to come.’
Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) which will own and operate the VeloPark in legacy, said:
‘When the Games are over the Velodrome will open to the public and the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority will start work to complete the VeloPark which will include a reconfigured BMX course, a new one mile road circuit and mountain bike trails.
‘The Olympic VeloPark will attract cyclists from all disciplines and become a cycling hub for London and the region. It will be a place where schoolchildren, clubs, groups and elite riders can train, race or just simply cycle for fun. The LVRPA will operate the VeloPark in legacy which will be part of its commitment to a zone of sporting excellence which will stretch from the White Water Canoe and Slalom Course in Broxbourne down to the Thames.’
Jennie Price, Chief Executive of Sport England said:
‘Sport England takes very seriously its key, lead role in developing Olympic legacy for the community. The VeloPark is the first of several important Sport England investments to help achieve our objective of creating sporting opportunities for every community.’
Peter King, Chief Executive of British Cycling said:
‘British Cycling is pleased to see such high quality facilities being built for London 2012. The VeloPark will provide a first class facility both for the Games and to encourage community and competition participation in cycling - and of course it brings a much needed indoor velodrome to the region.
‘British Cycling has worked closely with everyone involved to ensure the best possible solution was found for this site, in combination with the recently-opened centre at Redbridge. These are exactly the sort of facilities we need to allow the sport of cycling to grow and help to continue the recent success achieved by the GB Cycling Team in Beijing.’
Michael Humphreys chair of the Eastway Users Group said:
‘We started before the Athens Games to secure a Velopark for our sport. A London 2012 bid document quoted my son Hugo saying he wanted to compete in London’s Games and have somewhere to train for them too. Goals like that obliged the Games to improve sporting chances, especially for the young athletes whose facility is now part of this vast construction site. To see the relocation facility that’s just opened in Redbridge, and when the Velopark plans we have agreed are opened after the Games, there will be more riders like Hugo coming through. That’s going to be a real gain for all of London and for Great Britain’s medal hopes - whoever’s winning them for us in 2012 or later.’
The design team for the VeloPark is made up of Hopkins Architects, Expedition Engineering, BDSP and Grant Associates, who were appointed last year following a design competition judged by leading names from the world of architecture and design as well as Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy. The VeloPark designs unveiled today have been developed by the design team following extensive consultation with British Cycling and local cycling user groups.
Mike Taylor, a Director of Hopkins Architects said:
‘We are delighted to unveil our design for the VeloPark at this very exciting time for British cycling following our team’s outstanding success in Beijing. We hope the venue and facilities we are creating will generate even more excitement in 2012 and then continue to be an inspiration for future generations of cyclists.
‘Our vision for the VeloPark has always been to create a place where both beginners and elite athletes will be equally at home. The form of the Velodrome has been designed to express the drama and elegance of the track geometry and we hope it will become one of the defining images of the Olympic Park not to mention a place where World Records will be broken. After 2012 it will continue to attract international competition and when all the outdoor circuits are complete the VeloPark will become an exciting hub for all forms of cycling in London.’
A planning application for the VeloPark will be submitted later this month with construction work due to start on site in early 2009. The contract to build the Velodrome was awarded to ISG in May this year. ISG has an impressive sporting pedigree and were also responsible for replacing the track at the Manchester Velodrome which led to the British team securing nine gold medals at the World Cycling Championships earlier this year.
The site in its current condition (Image: Gettyimages)
Steve Trotter, ISG Managing Director, said:
‘The design team has put together a spectacular plan for the Velodrome that will provide outstanding facilities for both elite cyclists and the local community long after 2012. It is hugely exciting to be involved in building a Velodrome of this scale and we hope the success of the British Cycling Team in Beijing can be repeated on the London 2012 track.’
The launch of the latest plans for the London 2012 VeloPark follows the opening of the Redbridge Cycling Centre last month. The state-of-the-art Â£4.5m centre was built by the London Development Agency (LDA) for community and competition use to replace the former Eastway Cycle Circuit which made way for the site of the London 2012 VeloPark. The Redbridge Cycle Circuit includes a 2km cycling circuit and off-road trail and after 2012 it will be joined by the Olympic Park VeloPark to offer Londoners two of the best cycling facilities in the country.
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