London Track World Cup #1

I never know what to make of people who leave things early.

Take last night’s session at the Olympic Velodrome. Admittedly the scheduling left much to be desired (as is the case for the whole weekend), but once the excitement of the men’s team sprint had finished half-way through the evening’s programme, the sell-out crowd began rapidly diminishing in size.

Come the final race – a rather exciting omnium elimination (since when did it stop being the devil?) – there were probably only 2,000 spectators in the Velodrome. Were those who left early simply needing to catch a last train? Or were they not hugely bothered by a rather dull men’s kilometre?

Tickets for this Track World Cup are anything but cheap, so you would have thought people would saviour every moment they could in the new building. Especially if, like Jess Varnish’s friends and family, they don’t have tickets for the Olympics.

I felt sorry for the top three in the men’s points race. There were more photographers snapping their podium ceremony than spectators in the lower tier on the back straight.

Staging it after the racing had ended is traditional, but it’s a waste. You know the drill. Competition ends, cue mad rush for the exits.  This is definitely the case at this test event.

Thankfully, after the nightmare of Thursday night – some people complained that it took them 90 minutes to get off the Olympic Park – last night’s operation was far more successful.

That said, it still took 40 minutes from leaving my seat to getting out of the Olympic Park. 20 minutes of waiting for a bus, a 10-minute ride on one (for a journey of around half a mile) and the short walk into the Westfield shopping centre.

The queuing for the buses was organised and friendly, despite the fact there was not a long line of vehicles ready and waiting as you would expect them to be.

Even so, if it took half the time to get out last night than it did for many on Thursday, perhaps I don’t mind those who leave early that much at all.

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