March 12 - Lee Valley Velo Park, the scene of many of Britain's greatest moments during London 2012, has re-opened today.
The venue within Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has been transformed since the Olympics and Paralympics, with the velodrome and BMX track re-modelled to become suitable for all abilities and a one mile floodlit road track and five miles of mountain bike trails added, making the Park the first such venue in the world to have these four cycling activities in one place.
The 6,000 capacity vVelodrome will host major regional, national and international events from the outset, with the final of the Revolution Series due to take place there this weekend, before the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Cycle ends on the road loop.
But, alongside elite races, programmes and events are also on offer for cyclists of all ability.
Schools, community groups and cycling clubs are the core part of this, with an average of 75 school sessions and 135 club sessions to be held each month.
There are also targeted cycling initiatives for women, people aged over 50 and toddlers, plus health initiatives and talent identification programmes to find tomorrow's cycling champions, all of which are due begin at the end of this month.
Cyclists can take on any of the four circuits and will be able to follow in the pedals of champions, such as Olympic champion Laura Trott and Paralympic champion Mark Colbourne, who are ambassadors for Lee Valley VeloPark and who between them won three of the 13 Olympic and Paralympic gold medals for British cyclists during the Games.
"It's great to see Lee Valley VeloPark open and I'm so proud to be a part of this inspirational venue as an ambassador," said Trott at today's unveiling.
"I have such fantastic memories of London 2012, and coming back just brings them all back to me.
"I'm sure it's going to help kids get into cycling and that's what the legacy of the Games is all about.
Similar sentiments were added by Colbourne, who said how he does "feel honoured to have competed in the Velodrome and very proud to have raced and won in front of a home crowd."
"This ambassadorial role will help me to inspire many more children in their quest to achieve great things in sport and in life," he added.
Also commenting after the opening was Shaun Dawson, chief executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, which owns and runs Lee Valley VeloPark, former London 2012 chief Sebastian Coe - now the Prime Minister's Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador - and British Cycling chairman Bob Howden.
All three spoke positively about the benefits the opening will bring, both the sport of cycling in Britain and for the local community.
In particular Coe, who is also chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA), outlined how "the opening of Lee Valley VeloPark will help maintain the momentum of the cycling revolution sweeping the nation.
He added: "I congratulate Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, the London Legacy Development Corporation and all other bodies and individuals who have united to create a truly outstanding legacy venue which people of all abilities will be able to enjoy.
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