As the world’s greatest track cyclists compete in the UCI Track Cycling World Cup presented by Samsung, a London 2012 test event, the sport was today (17 February) given a massive boost with the signing of a new agreement to increase Britain’s future medal chances and deliver a long term legacy for track cycling.
The agreement, signed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, which will own and manage the Velodrome in the Olympic Park after the Games, the National Cycling Centre, Manchester, Glasgow Life, which will manage the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome on behalf of Glasgow City Council and British Cycling, the sport’s National Governing Body aims to:
1) unite the organisations to develop future track cycling champions through programmes to attract a new generation of participants to the sport and discover the stars of tomorrow.
2) collaborate to bring high profile international track cycling competitions, events and top riders to the country and develop event programmes across the UK. The popular Revolution series – already a big hit in Manchester, will now be staged at all three velodromes as part of the agreement starting in Glasgow early next year. This is the first of many new events which will be developed over the next few years.
3) work together on a range of national and regional events for all levels of cyclists to enhance cycling as a sport, a recreational activity and means of sustainable transport.
4) share best practice between all four organisations and work together on strategy, procurement and profile to ensure the best use of public money.
Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and The Olympics said: “This agreement is a big boost for cycling in Britain. It will help us uncover new cycling talent, host World class events and promote the sport across the country, encouraging the next generation to take up cycling.”
Councillor George Redmond, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Glasgow is one of the world’s great sporting cities, with a growing reputation for delivering world-class events. We are looking forward to adding track cycling to our events programme when the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome opens its doors for the first time later this year. The partnership with Manchester and London will ensure the very top names in track cycling compete in our venues over the coming years and will cement the UK’s position as one of the leading destinations for cycling events.”
Seb Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) said: “The signing of this agreement is a fantastic step forward for cycling in the UK with the goal of delivering first rate cycling facilities and programmes. The Velodrome in the Olympic Park will leave a legacy in East London, and with this agreement in place it is a great step forward to extend this legacy nationwide.”
Brian Cookson OBE, British Cycling’s President said: “These are exciting times for cycling and through working closely with Manchester, Glasgow and London, British Cycling looks forward to continuing to grow our sport. The signing of this agreement ensures we maximise the benefits of having three world-class facilities in terms of our ability to bid for and host major events which bring the world’s leading riders to our shores. It also means we can provide more opportunities for more people to get into the sport. What could be more inspiring for riders, young or old, to give it a go themselves by being able to do so on the tracks that the likes of Hoy and Pendleton have ridden?”
Derrick Ashley, chairman of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority said: “This collaboration will produce long term benefits for enthusiasts and cycling fans across the country. Uniting with Manchester, Glasgow and British Cycling will ensure Lee Valley VeloPark has the best start and young British talent has every possible chance.”
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council executive member for culture and leisure, said: “The National Cycling Centre not only provides an excellent facility for elite athletes, but also caters for local grass-roots cyclists inspired by Team GB. Furthermore, the addition of the Indoor BMX Track allows us to offer broader cycling to residents. This new agreement will allow us to build on our success in promoting cycling while continuing to host major cycling events.”
After the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Velodrome in the Olympic Park will form the epicentre of Lee Valley VeloPark which will also be made up of the London 2012 BMX track, a one-mile road circuit and mountain bike trails. Glasgow’s Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome will be completed later this year and will host track cycling when the Commonwealth Games take place in the city in 2014. They will join the highly successful National Cycling Centre in Manchester which is home to the British Cycling Federation and has hosted many high profile events including the 2002 Commonwealth Games track cycling competition, to create a group of world class venues across the UK.