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£1 Million Velodrome to Open in York Next Month


12:03am 26th June 2014

A new Olympic-sized outdoor velodrome at the University of York is set to ensure the Tour de France legacy lives on in Yorkshire and Humberside.

The £1.1m facility, jointly funded by the University and British Cycling, will open to the public in July, capitalising on the enthusiasm for cycling generated by the Tour de France and Britain’s success in cycling at the 2012 Olympic Games.

A 250 metre macadam track, the York Sport Velodrome will provide a community and regional facility at the University’s York Sport Village.

The venue will host regular taster and skills/improver sessions, structured training and a weekly race league. There will also be opportunities for local schools and community groups to take part in cycling sessions, as well as weekly coaching sessions for under-16s run by Clifton Cycling Club.

Gary Verity, Welcome to Yorkshire’s Chief Executive, said: “The Tour de France will be a catalyst for great things in our great county and for the legacy project of the Grand Départ, Cycle Yorkshire. The greatest cyclists in the world will, I am certain, inspire Yorkshire to get on its bike and this new facility will provide the perfect platform for more people of all ages, to engage with and enjoy cycling, one of the key aims of Cycle Yorkshire.”

Professor Koen Lamberts, Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, said: “In the year the Tour de France comes to York, we are very proud to provide a superb addition to the city’s sports facilities that will complement our floodlit 1.2km closed road cycle circuit. Our partnership with British Cycling to develop this additional facility is a clear demonstration of our commitment to ‘inspire activity’ and to promote the health and well-being of people across the city and beyond.”

Bob Howden, President of British Cycling, said: “Following the success of British riders at the Tour de France and Olympics, there are more people than ever riding bikes in this country. With increased participation, however, comes the need for new facilities. British Cycling has been delighted to get behind this fantastic project and hopefully we might see the next Joanna Rowsell or Jason Kenny develop at the York Velodrome. On a personal note, I and many other fellow Yorkshire volunteers will take particular delight in seeing a long haul for a home track facility finally come to fruition.”

The new facility, built by contractor Lumsden and Carroll, has 30-degree banking at its steepest point at each end, which riders will negotiate on special track bikes with no gears or brakes. Indoor tracks such as Manchester, Glasgow and London are made of timber and are around 40 degrees at the steepest point

Steve Conn, Construction Director from Lumsden and Carroll, part of the Esh Group, said: “Lumsden and Carroll are delighted to help the University of York deliver another excellent sports facility, building on the relationships formed in delivering the closed 1.2km circuit last year. This velodrome will add to the excellent modern facilities already available on campus and open to the wider public.”

The track was laid by Lafarge Tarmac using a special surfacing product for velodromes called UltiTrack, a 6mm dense asphalt. 

Andy Bedford, Contracts Manager for Lafarge Tarmac, said: “Having previously worked on velodromes across the UK, we were delighted to have the opportunity to use our expertise and experience in laying the velodrome track in York to meet the exacting standards of the cyclists on this exciting project."

The new velodrome sits alongside the successful closed road cycle circuit at the Sport Village which opened last year and has already had over 7,000 visits. 

Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, City of York Council, said: "The joint partnership between British Cycling and the University of York is a wonderful example of how the legacy of the Tour (Cycle Yorkshire) is coming together and the levels of investment and opportunities it is bringing. This velodrome is a classic example of this.

"I hope that many people from across the region, the north of the UK and beyond are even more inspired by what we are seeing today and to start cycling and cycle more often."

Coaches will lead taster and accreditation sessions at the new facility. This will allow cyclists to build confidence and learn new skills and to take part in competition or structured training sessions. Track bikes and equipment will be available for hire.

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