Velodrome A Cycling Asset for Colorado Springs!

Dale Campbell - Bent Fork Chronicles Editor

To watch these riders pushing for all they are worth for 200 meters, spinning the crank at over 150 RPMs was a breathtaking sight. Breathtaking for sure if you were the one out on the track pedaling that single speed bike, moving it more than 90 inches with each complete pedal revolution.

As a cyclist, I’m pleased that we have a major cycling asset right here in Colorado Springs. For those who might not know, the 7-Eleven United States Olympic Training Center Velodrome was built in 1982 in preparation for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. The track is 333.3 meter in length (1,093.5 feet). Banking on the straights is about 3 degrees at the inside of the track, increasing to a whopping 33 degree banking in the turns. I can easily understand that riders love this track for its speed. And, with the upgrade of new lighting in 2006, the facility continues to improve and be available for training. In fact, racing will be starting in just a few days. The 2011 Hammer Match Sprint Match Sprint Series starts on 4 June and will continue through the following two Saturdays, 18 and 25 June.

But for other locations around the world, some local facilities are not so fortunate. Take the case of the Hurstville Velodrome in New South Wales, Australia. That Velodrome is under a cloud, with the local government considering a plan to demolish the track and expand the oval for other sports. This is part of a change for similar facilities in New South Wales NSW). In Sydney area alone, only four velodromes remain, down from a peak of at least nine a few decades ago. Gary Sutton, the NSW Institute of Sport head cycling coach and 1978 Commonwealth Games gold medalist, notes that the Hurstville track has a history, not unlike that of our own here in Colorado Springs. ''Looking at the past, [the track] has developed and produced so many great champions - people who've been to the Olympics and won gold medals,'' Mr Sutton said. ''But also for the young ones coming through, because … it encourages kids to join our sport.'' But its future is an unknown. To read more about this situation, just go to the following link:

BFC April 2011 Issue - Vol 4 Issue 3, 1 June 2011

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