Track cycling has steadily become one of the United Kingdom’s most admired and respected sports.
Notably, this level of exposure is courtesy of Team Great Britain, who have consistently dominated track cycling at the previous four Olympic Games. An exhilarating sport defined by speed, technique, stamina and nerves of steel, the track cycling community has grown considerably, here in the UK. Irrespective of sporting allegiances, there is no denying the impressive athletic features associated with track cycling.
Despite this, many tend to assume the sport is difficult to become involved in. In fact, this assumption is quite the opposite. With more and more people taking to the pedals in Britain, we begin by focusing on the five cities you need to know about for track cycling!
Lee Valley VeloPark, London
An emblematic feature of the London 2012 Games, Lee Valley VeloPark boasts of both athletic prestige and inclusivity.
The Olympic legacy continues to illuminate brightly with track cycling at the forefront of this impressive 6,000 seater venue. As a participating visitor, you will get to experience the world’s fastest cycling track located in the indoor velodrome. As well as track cycling, BMX and mountain bike racing are also on offer at the VeloPark.
The venue welcomes riders of all standards and abilities. Conveniently, visitors can be reassured knowing that everything you need for this experience is available to hire.
If that wasn’t enough, Lee Valley VeloPark is hosting the 2018 TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup series on 14-16 December this year!
It’s safe to say that cycling enthusiasts are spoiled for choice!
The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow
Located inside the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, lies the remarkable The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. Initially constructed for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Emirates Arena is home to multiple sporting disciplines.
The velodrome, named after one of Britain's most successful Olympic athletes, is home to track cycling, as well as headquarters to Sports Scotland and Scottish Cycling. With a capacity exceeding 2,000 spectators, the velodrome caters for the elites and the complete beginners.
Encouragement is further evident, as The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome offers a four-step accreditation process catering for those who want to sign up to a local team.
The velodrome played host to many leading sporting events, including the 2012/13 UCI Track Cycling World Cup series and the European Track Cycling Championships. Notably, the TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup returns to The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome from November 8-10 for the 2019/20 series.
The HSBC UK National Cycling Centre
Opening its doors in 1994 allowed The HSBC UK National Cycling Centre to emerge as the first indoor Olympic cycling track in Britain. Currently home to British Cycling and Team Sky, the centre is frequently renowned as ‘’the beating heart’’ of British cycling. Reputably, the centre is often identified as one of the catalysts behind Britain’s sturdy rise in world cycling.
Regarded as one of the best and fastest tracks in the world, the track itself is one of the busiest, operating seven days a week. Courtesy of robust and inclusive activity programmes, the centre welcomes everyone regardless of ability or experience.
Excitingly, some of the biggest names affiliated to track cycling are known to be regular users of the track. Key figures include members of Team GB, including Jason Kenny, Laura Kenny (Trott) and Jody Cundy.
Further cementing Manchester’s cycling prominence, The HSBC UK National Cycling Centre continues to expand with BMX and Mountain Bike activities becoming additional features.
Herne Hill Velodrome, London.
Despite mentioning London previously, it would be unjust of us to omit one of the country’s most unique velodromes around.
A true antique of Britain’s illustrious sporting heritage comes in the form of Herne Hill Velodrome. Constructed in 1891, the track has witnessed many historical moments, including hosting the track cycling events in the Summer Olympics of 1948, not to mention surviving both World Wars.
Uniquely, Herne Hill Velodrome continues to serve as being one of the world’s oldest cycling tracks. Justifiably, the velodrome is commonly referred to as cycling’s version of Wembley or Wimbledon.
Today, the velodrome remains actively busy operating every day of the year except for Christmas Day. Accompanied by an instructor, cycling enthusiasts have the option to choose from three track types, such as off road, inner track and main track.
Like nearly every other velodrome, visitors have the reassurance of having track bikes available for hire.
York Sport Velodrome
Following the aftermath of London 2012 and the arrival of the 2014 Tour de France, York Sport Velodrome was established at the University of York. In 2014, Yorkshire hosted the second stage of the tournament before venturing off to Sheffield, leaving a substantial impact on the region.
The velodrome opens every year between May and October. Due to the tracks unique design, the circuit is greatly suited for novices to the sport. Additionally, those who prefer to improve their skills in track cycling can do so also.
All appropriate equipment is available for hire, including coaching for your initial introduction session on the track.