£1.1m outdoor velodrome unveiled as Grand Depart fever takes hold

A cyclist goes through his paces ar the new York Velodrome.  Picture by Gerard Binks
A cyclist goes through his paces ar the new York Velodrome. Picture by Gerard Binks
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A signal of cycling intent has been made with the unveiling of a £1.1m outdoor velodrome.

Among the first tangible signs of a two-wheeled legacy from the upcoming visit of the Tour de France Grand Depart next week, the facility at the University of York’s Sport Village is hoped to nurture talent and prove a sign of investment to come regionally.

The 250-metre track, which has 30-degree banking at its steepest point at each end, will open to the public in July to meet the increasing demand for facilities inspired by Great Britain’s recent cycling successes.

The university’s vice chancellor Professor Koen Lamberts helped preview the facility with British Cycling president Bob Howden and Gary Verity, chief executive of Tour de France bid-winning tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire yesterday.

He said: “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.”

The facility, joint funded by the university and British Cycling, was unveiled as anticipation builds ahead of the Tour’s first visit to Yorkshire on July 5 and 6. Riders will cycle from Leeds to Harrogate next Saturday, before the York to Sheffield stage two the following day.

Flags are going up all across York to mark the Tour’s visit, while the restored Holgate Mill has been given a Grand Depart makeover ahead of July 6.

In Leeds, where stage one will roll into action, a media hub for the event being built to house over 2,000 global journalists is taking shape at MEPC’s Wellington Place development.

The public will get an early glimpse of all 198 competing riders on Thursday, as they parade through the city centre on their way to the official Opening Ceremony Team Presentation.

Meanwhile North Yorkshire County Council have announced plans to attach leaflets to cars parked on the race routes to warn drivers that cars parked en route may be removed if they impede road closures.