July 20 - Glasgow 2014 celebrated three years until the city hosts the Commonwealth Games when cyclist Jenny Davis took the first bike into the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
Davis, who lives in Edinburgh and won silver in the team sprint at the Games in Delhi last year, said the velodrome should make for a "much bigger atmosphere" than the facility in India, with seating for 4,000 people.
Designed by Ralph Schuermann, one of the world's foremost track designers and named in honour of Scotland's most successful combined Olympic and Commonwealth Games athlete, the venue is due for completion next year.
"It's an absolutely fantastic venue," said Davis.
"At the moment it's still a bit of a building site, quite a lot of dust around, but it's starting to come up from the ground.
"You can actually see where the velodrome boards are going to be and where the seating area and so on is going to be.
"Once it's actually completed, it's going to be an absolutely fantastic venue for us to be able to train on and a great showcase for Scottish cycling come the Games in Glasgow in 2014."
Glasgow 2014 chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin (pictured with Davis) claimed the project is on track and on budget, and has reached an important milestone, which was also an opportunity to try to put behind them the recent negative publicity following the controversial resignation of chief executive John Scott.
"This is a different game from Delhi," said Smith.
"Delhi had to build almost all their venues; 70 per cent of our venues were already in place, like Celtic Park and Hampden.
"We'd only to build 30 per cent.
"I'm confident we are on time, on budget."
He said prefabricated structures will soon be erected at the Athletes Village down the road from the Velodrome, which is near Celtic Park in Glasgow's East End.
"Rising up all over Glasgow you are going to see evidence of the Commonwealth Games and the legacy it's going to leave behind," said Smith.
Later this week there will be the official launch of the pictograms for the Games and the celebrations will continue at the Merchant City Festival this weekend with a "sporting challenge" that will give festival-goers a taster of all 17 sports that are represented in the Games.
"Glasgow 2014 is no longer a distant prospect, the venues and infrastructures are rising from the ground in Glasgow and all across Scotland people are getting involved and starting to feel the excitement that the Games will bring in three years time," said Smith.
Shona Robison, Scotland's Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, also expressed her excitement about the event.
"As we mark three years to go until the beginning of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games I am delighted to be witnessing first hand the progress that has been made to date," she said.
"The Velodrome is progressing well and is the latest reminder that these Games remain on time, on budget and on track to be a great success.
"Hosting the Games is not only about putting on a spectacular sporting extravaganza but also about leaving a lasting legacy for the people of Scotland.
"Now more than ever in the countdown to 2014 it's important that we involve local people and communities from across Scotland in the excitement of the Games.
"That is why the Scottish Government's Games legacy plan aims to inspire everyone in Scotland to get involved and take advantage of this unique opportunity to become a healthier nation."
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