Olympics 2012: Velodrome, London (2012)

London 2012 Velodrome unveiled

Press Release text by London 2012

22 February 2011

London 2012 Velodrome unveiled as Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Jason Kenny & GB riders try out track for first time British cyclists including Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Jason Kenny took to the track in the London 2012 Velodrome for the first time today as the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) unveiled the first Olympic Park venue to finish construction, on time and to budget.

The 6,000 seat Velodrome will host the Olympic and Paralympic Track Cycling events in 2012. After the Games, the legacy Velodrome will be used by elite athletes and the local community and will include a café, bike hire and cycle workshop facilities. The ODA started work on the Velodrome in March 2009 with construction now completed and the first Olympic Park venue in place nearly 18 months before the start of the Games.

Selected riders from the Great Britain Cycling Team tried out the Velodrome for the first time today including Beijing Games medal winners Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar, together with rising stars and established names in the GB cycling team. The cyclists were joined in unveiling the Velodrome by ODA Chairman John Armitt, Seb Coe Chair of the London Organising Committee (LOCOG), Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and other guests.


The Velodrome was built by contractor ISG. The design team for the VeloPark is made up of Hopkins Architects, Expedition Engineering, and BDSP who were appointed in 2007 following a design competition judged by leading names from the world of architecture and design as well as Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy.

Mike Taylor, Senior Partner of Hopkins Architects: ’We set out with the ambition to combine architecture, engineering and cycling to create a unique design worthy of London 2012. Hopefully this philosophy is now evident in the way the completed building expresses the dynamism of the internal timber track in its curved form and emulates the efficiency of the bicycle in all aspects of its engineering, and when the VeloPark is complete all forms of cycling will be visible from the concourse. It is the culmination of much hard work from a fantastic team and we are all extremely proud of the end result.’

Velodrome facilities:
The Lee Valley Park Regional Authority will own, manage and fund the London 2012 White Water Canoe Centre just north of the M25, the VeloPark, and Tennis Centre and Hockey Centre on the Olympic Park in legacy, ensuring all four are well used by a variety of target groups from beginners to elite athletes with extensive community use, outreach and sports development programmes.


Velodrome fact file:
> 250m UCI (International Cycling Union) approved indoor track 6,000 seats and 360 degree concourse in legacy for viewing all cycling activities
> Legacy café, changing rooms, cycle workshop, & storage for over 300 bikes with a legacy bike hire outlet for families to hire bikes to use the new cycling facilities
> Venue will be linked into cycle routes across London

Cycling legacy:
> After the Games, a road cycle circuit and mountain bike course will be added to the Velodrome and BMX circuit to create the Lee Valley VeloPark, combining cycling facilities across all disciplines in one cycling ‘hub’
> The legacy VeloPark will be owned and operated by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority

> There will be 10 gold medals to be won in the London 2012 Velodrome, five for men and five for women
> There will be five events for men and five for women: Sprint, Team Sprint, Keirin, Team Pursuit, and The Omnium
> 188 riders will compete in London 2012
> The track cycling competition will take place over six days in London 2012

Velodrome design:
> Distinct Velodrome roof designed to reflect the geometry of the cycling track, using a very lightweight double curving cable net structure
> The 6,000 seats are split into a lower and upper tier, allowing a 360 degrees concourse level in between with a continuous ribbon of full height windows
> The 360 degree glazed concourse level in legacy will offer spectators inside the Velodrome views out onto the rest of the Olympic Park and across the London skyline, while allowing people outside of the Velodrome views into the venue and down onto the cycling track

> The Velodrome was constructed over a period of 23 months with up to 450 workers on site at the peak of construction and 2,500 workers involved through the course of the project
> Some 48,000 cubic metres of material was excavated to create the bowl for the Velodrome, enough to fill 19 Olympic-sized swimming pools
> 2,500 sections of steelwork were installed to form the Velodrome structure, rising in height by 12 metres from the shallowest point to the highest part of the structure
> The cable-net roof lift took eight weeks to complete and features some 16km of cabling, covering an area of 12,000 m2
> The striking outer cladding of the venue uses 5,000 m2 of Western Red Cedar timber

Velodrome track:
> The Velodrome has been designed with the aim of creating the world’s fastest cycling track by tailoring the track geometry and setting the temperature and environmental conditions within the venue to create record-breaking conditions
> The venue has also been being designed with seating all the way round the track to create the best possible crowd atmosphere during events
> Renowned Velodrome track designer Ron Webb oversaw the design and installation of the 2012 track having previously worked on the Sydney and Athens Velodromes
> A team of 26 specialist carpenters installed the cycling track over a period of 8 weeks
> 56 km of surface timber from a sustainably-sourced Siberian pine was laid to form the track surface, fixed into place with more than 350,000 nails

Sustainability elements:
> The building has been designed to be lightweight and efficient to reflect the efficient design of a bicycle
> The use of abundant daylight through strategically positioned rooflights reduces need for artificial lighting, and natural ventilation is achieved through openings in the external timber cladding of the venue
> Water saving fittings and collection of rainwater for reuse in building are built into design to help reduce water consumption
> Compact design minimises energy consumed to heat the main arena
> Lightweight cable-net roof structure weighs 30kg / m2 compared to 65kg / m2 for the Beijing Velodrome, helping create a highly efficient building