London's Olympic velodrome enters next phase of construction

london olympic velodrome, london olympics, 2012, london 2012

Newly crowned omnium world champion Ed Clancy was in London today to see the first roof tiles being lowered in to position at the Olympic velodrome.

The cycling venue will be the first to be completed on the site in west London as construction continues at a pace. 1,300 timber cassettes will be manoeuvred in to place over the next 11 weeks with the building being water tight in June.

16km of cables have been used to construct the roof, weighing 100 tonnes alone. Designed in Germany, the cables were first laid out on the floor of the building, with the nodes that join them also affixed. The process took six weeks as tolerances for fitting the timber cassettes was just 1-2mm.

It then took another two weeks for the cables to be lifted in to position and tensioned. Strips of clear tiles will also be fitted to the roof to allow natural light into the building. The walls around the concourse level will be entirely glass for more natural light, although blinds will be fitted so sun spots can beam on to the track.

An aluminium cover will eventually be fitted over the top of the timber cassettes to make the roof waterproof.

Sir Chris Hoy was heavily involved in the initial consultation period, and, according to Olympic Delivery Authority Project Sponsor Richard Arnold, advised on three main areas. Firstly that there should be no change in airflow. To solve this problem, there will only be two entrances for spectators, and all entries and exits in the building have double doors.

Secondly, Hoy wanted there to be continual seating around the track so that riders aren't hit with a wall of noise in the straights and silence in the bankings. Therefore seating has been provided all the way round the track.

Thirdly, Hoy said that toilets and the dope control area should be easy to access for the rider from the track centre, to avoid them having long walks during and after competition.

The track itself will be delivered in July with construction starting in September. This is scheduled to take eight to twelve weeks and will be overseen by Ron Webb, the man who built Manchester and Newport tracks.

london olympic velodrome, london olympics, 2012, london 2012

The shape of the roof is already evident as the 16km of cables take their form

london olympic velodrome, london olympics, 2012, london 2012

The first Timber / plywood roof tiles are lowered in to position

london olympic velodrome, london olympics, 2012, london 2012

The velodrome will hold up to 6,000 spectators

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Take a 360 view of the velodrome


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Simon Richardson
Simon Richardson

Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers. 

Since working for Cycling Weekly he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!


Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace

TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars

Gravel bike: N/A

Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel