Derby can become UK's 'next medal factory', says British Cycling chief

The new Derby Velodrome, along with the city's BMX track, could follow in Manchester's footsteps in producing Olympic talent, according to Ian Drake

British Cycling chief executive, Ian Drake, believes the new Derby Velodrome can become the UK’s ‘next medal factory’.

The £27.5m velodrome at Pride Park hosts a 250m track, 12 badminton courts in the centre, with the building also featuring a state-of-the-art gym, exercise studios and a café.

Cycle Derby has also funded the creation of a BMX track in Alvaston, which, combined with the velodrome, British Cycling hopes will see the next generation of British talent come through.

According to the Derby Telegraph, Drake said in a letter to the council: “We will continue to tell other councils about the successful, sustainable model that Cycle Derby has developed and encourage them to contact your team to learn from you for the betterment of all.

“If every local authority supported cycling in the way that Derby has chosen to do, the country would be enjoying much higher cycling participation numbers.”

He added: “With athletes from Derby already cementing their place in the Great Britain Cycling Team we look forward to seeing Derby become the next medal factory for cycling after Manchester.”

>>> New £1 million velodrome approved in Middlesbrough

An exact opening date is yet to be set, but it is hoped that the track will be ready for action in the coming months.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.