Good Friday Track Meeting forced to close after making 'considerable losses'

Annual British track meeting has attracted many star riders since 1903, but will not run in 2018 due to financial burden and lack of suitable venue

Good Friday Meeting, 2005, Herne Hill
(Image credit: Nigel Wynn)

The long-running Good Friday Meeting track event will not take place in 2018, with organiser Graham Bristow citing financial losses and the lack of a suitable venue as the reasons for its demise.

Since its first running in 1903 at Herne Hill Velodrome in London, the even has attracted numerous star names from the world of cycle racing, and was once one of the top races in the British track calendar.

In a statement published on Monday by Bristow on behalf of the Southern Counties Cycle Union, he said: "Traditionally funded by spectator receipts, the Meeting has incurred considerable losses in recent years and despite concerted efforts to raise sponsorship and financial support no such funding is forthcoming, nor seen to be likely in the immediate future."

Crowds at the Good Friday Meeting in 2005 hosted by Herne Hill. Photo: Nigel Wynn
(Image credit: Nigel Wynn)

Bristow also explained that the redevelopment of Herne Hill Velodrome caused the event to falter. It moved to Lee Valley Velodrome during Herne Hill's redevelopment – but Bristow says that the new Herne Hill facilities do not have enough capacity for the number of spectators they need to make the event break even.

>>> Renovated Herne Hill pavilion opened on March 30

"Ironically, the transformation of Herne Hill from a rundown dilapidated facility to a fresh new locally based community hub also created difficulties for the Meeting. The ongoing works rendered much of the site inaccessible to spectators and, with no end date in sight, the Meeting moved to the Lee Valley Velodrome.

Good Friday Meeting, 2005, Herne Hill. Photo: Nigel Wynn
(Image credit: Nigel Wynn)

"Now that the Herne Hill renovation has been completed the committee considered returning to Herne Hill, but sadly, although it has a fine new club house, the venue is no longer suitable for holding meetings with more than a few hundred spectators.

"This, coupled with the ever present Easter weather uncertainties, means that such a return to South London is not an option."

News of the cancellation of the event was met with sadness from long-term fans.

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Bristow thanked all of the event's supporters, saying: "The Southern Counties Cycling Union would like to thank the riders and spectators who have supported the Meeting over the years, both at Herne Hill and Lee Valley".

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