Almost two years after it was closed for safety reasons, racing will return to the Preston Park velodrome in Brighton on Sunday.
The track - the oldest in the UK - closed in September 2014 (opens in new tab), but after a social media campaign to save it the velodrome will welcome riders again thanks to a £160,000 makeover.
Sunday will see the first racers back on the track with a youth omnium set to take place at midday, with the evening race league recommencing on Wednesday.
Rupert Rivett, from Save Preston Park Cycle Track, told The Argus (opens in new tab): “Everybody is very happy about competitive cycling returning to the track and the event is already fully booked.
“The steering committee are set to finalise at a meeting later this month setting up a charity. We’re looking to get lights at the track so it can be used at night and during the winter."
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Fundraisers are hoping to raise another £100,000 to install floodlights around the track, which Mr Rivett hopes will enable riders to come to the track all year round.
“We need to make the track sustainable so it doesn’t fall apart, it will always need work doing to it. If we have the lights, cyclists can come off the roads during the winter and use the track to train and we can look at maybe raising revenue.
“British Cycling have invested in the track and now have an interest to see it go from strength to strength.”
Brighton and Hove City Council and British Cycling both contributed towards (opens in new tab) the refurbishment, following a 4,000-signature petition made to the local authority.
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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.
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