2012 Velodrome Visit
The 2012 Velopark is about one day away from being finished and handed over to the Olympic Development Authority. We headed over there to take a look around and understand what will give it a lasting legacy.
Stepping inside the 6,000 seater velodrome is impressive. Dressed in hard hats and hi-viz, we were led by the velodrome architect, Mike Taylor, and project manager, Richard Arnold.
The atmosphere is quite different to Manchester; light and airy. The track is book-ended by huge glass windows letting in light and creating a better atmosphere, especially for those cyclists spending hours training on the track.
The shape of the building is such that the glass at each end is at ground level, making it possible for park visitors to walk up to the building and look in.
The track was designed by world renown designer and friend of Condor, Ron Webb. It uses 56km of Siberian pine from sustainable sources and there are 360,000 nails holding the track together.
For smaller events the split tier seating allows the crowd to be seated on the lower section so a good atmosphere can still be created.
Four screens scroll down from the ceiling and 48 TV cameras will be mounted inside for the filming of Olympic events.
Condor started in 1948, which was also the last time the Olympics came to London. A special track was built in Herne Hill, and it is on this track that many Condor supported athletes have raced. Next year it will be the turn of Ed Clancy and Andy Tennant, who are supported by Condor to race in the 2012 Olympics at the east London site.
It got us thinking about the legacy of Herne Hill and the current threat to its survival. Herne Hill needs to be redeveloped. If plans go ahead it would be a fantastic site for school children, new riders, and training ground for those looking to try track cycling. One day these riders may move on to race on the boards at London's impressive new velodrome, and after all these years and history it would be a shame to lose the chance for a feeder track.
To sign up for tickets for the the 2012 Olympics click here.
For more information on the Save the Velodrome Project click here.