Following on from his recent announcement of a £94 million cash injection into cycling, David Cameron has continued to show his enthusiasm for the British cycling scene by presenting the Herne Hill Velodrome with a Big Society Award.
He wanted to recognize the hundreds of volunteers who worked with the ‘Save the Velodrome’ campaign, set up by Hillary Peachey and friends in 2010, when it was feared that the velodrome would have to close due to resurfacing work needed on the track.
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Mr Cameron thanked ‘the hard work of the local people’ as well as the ‘help from inspirational cycling heroes’ in fighting to keep the velodrome open, and said that the action of the campaigners was ‘an excellent example of the Big Society’.
Thanks to funding from the Dulwich Estate, British Cycling and the Southwark Council’s Olympic Legacy Programme (the velodrome is the only operating venue from the 1948 Olympics), since 2010 the track has been resurfaced and floodlights, a multi use sports area and a new junior track were installed earlier this year.
A third fundraising campaign is being launched next month to enable the building of a new pavilion.
Hitters’ GP this afternoon
Team Sky rider and Tour of Britain stage winner Luke Rowe hosts this afternoon’s Hitters’ Grand Prix – a one off, exclusive event taking place at the Llandow Race Circuit near Cardiff.
Two time Olympic champion Ed Clancy (Rapha-Condor-JLT) – who Rowe has tipped for the win – will be taking part along with the Downing brothers, Russell and Dean, and former team pursuit world champion Andy Tennant (Madison-Genesis).
The event is being sponsored by the Cardiff based Truly Scrumptious Cakes company, which is run by Rowe’s girlfriend. It’s provided one of the biggest prize pots on the British domestic circuit, with the winner of the Elite race going home with £2000 (as well as rewards for minor placings).
In addition to the Elite race, there will also be the Rapha sponsored Chippers’ Grand Prix for Category 2,3,4 and female riders, and the Nippers’ Grand Prix for youth riders.
Leicester snubbed by Government cycling grant
Leicester has missed out on a share of the government’s £77 million grant to promote cycling around the UK, despite its chances of success having initially looked promising.
A spokesman from Leicester City Council told Cycling Weekly: “we are really, really disappointed. In the near future we will be asking the Department for Transport for a report on why we did not receive any money, and holding a meeting to plan next step in our bid for funding.”
Leicester was hoping to use the money to improve bike safety around the city, and had plans to build a total of 4.5km of new cycling tracks. Eric Ludlow, press officer for the Leicester Cycling Campaign Group, told the Leicester Mercury, “the money could have made a real difference in safety. At the moment, the roads are a nightmare.”