And we were worried that the Olympic Games in London were going to be a last minute, panicked shambles. This week saw the official opening of the 2012 velodrome (a full 18 months before the Olympics begins) under budget and ahead of schedule.
Boris was effusive in his praise for the 6,000 seater venue. “This is just a breathtakingly beautiful piece of architecture and quite brilliant achievement of British engineering,â€? he said. â€œThe Olympic Delivery Authority has played an absolute blinder. This place will live and live, 60 years 70 years and more.
â€œThe velodrome will become a place of pilgrimage for cyclists and would-be cyclists to be inspired. It will be the crucible where future champions are forged. My spirits rise every time I visit the Olympic Park and venues like this. This is the most positive thing going on in Europe at the moment, an unambiguously successful and productive project.”
The Daily Telegraph reports that ‘the 250-metre piste consists of 54km of Siberian pine shipped in from Archangel and shaped by specialist craftsmen at a German sawmill, while 360,000 nails have been required to fix the track’.
Lord Coe, the chairman of the Olympics organising committee said the velodrome was “magnificent” whilst British cycling performance director Dave Brailsford said “They have taken the best bits of all the best velodromes around the world and the result is fantastic.”
â€œIt has been put together by people who really care about cycling and they have also taken the trouble to consult us along the way. One of the other things I like is that it is just 300 metres from the Olympic village. Itâ€™s a facility the nation can be very proud of.”