London - Lea Valley Velopark

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park : E20 3AB London - Lea Valley Velopark : Image credit Wiki Commons London - Lea Valley Velopark : Image credit Wiki Commons
Lee Valley VeloPark is the Olympic velodrome built for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It is in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at Stratford and opened in March 2014. The Olympic Park complex was built on the old Eastway Cycle Circuit. In addition to the velodrome, the Olympic Park houses a BMX track, a 1.6 km road course an 8 km route of mountain bike trails.

The 250m, 42 degree ‘Pringle' velodrome was designed by Ron Webb and the architects were Hopkins, it cost £94M and took 23 months to build. The track is constructed of 56km of Siberian pine, source and machined by Arnold Laver. The timber was allowed to acclimatise for months inside the venue. The Siberian pine track was fixed in place with 300,000 nails. The velodrome environment is kept at 26-28 degC to reduce air density and lower drag. The building is slightly elevated because contaminated soil was discovered on the site and the building had to be raised 1.6 metres out of the ground to minimise excavation.

The velodrome was completed in 2011 and is one of the fastest tracks in the world. There is room for 6,000 spectators in two tiers around the track. The first competition at the velodrome was the UCI Track World Cup in February 2012.

At the 2012 Olympics, Team GB won 7 out of a possible 10 gold medals plus a silver and a bronze. The GB Paralympic track team won 5 golds, 7 silver and 3 bronze medals.

The GB Olympians were : Philip Hindes, Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Steven Burke, Edward Clancy, Peter Kennaugh, Andrew Tennant, Geraint Thomas, Victoria Pendleton, Jessica Varnish, Wendy Houvenaghel, Danielle King, Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott.

The GB paraOlympians were : Jon-Allan Butterworth, Mark Colborne, Jody Cundy, Neil Fachie (pilot: Barney Storey), Anthony Kappes (pilot: Craig MacLean), Darren Kenny, Shaun McKeown, David Stone, Rik Waddon, Karen Darke, Aileen McGlynn (pilot: Helen Scott), Rachel Morris, Sarah Storey, Lora Turnham (pilot: Fiona Duncan).

The velodrome has hosted many major events including Revolution series races, the UCI Track Cycling World Cup and the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. Bradley Wiggins broke the UCI Hour record there on 7 June 2015.

This video shows a time lapse of the velodrome construction


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Photos : Wiki Commons