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Velodrome to host 2016 championships

London Velodrome in Stratford
London Velodrome in Stratford Credit: LOCOG

The Olympic velodrome in Stratford has been selected to host the 2016 Track Cycling World Championships. The decision to return to the venue where Britain won nine Olympic medals was confirmed yesterday evening.

The five-day competition is the final qualifying stage for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Athletes return to velodrome

Two of London 2012's biggest stars have gone back to the venue where they won their gold medals. Olympic cyclist Laura Trott and paralympian Mark Colbourne were today inside the velodrome in Stratford. They were being unveiled as the faces of an olympic legacy venue due to open next year.

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Follow in the footsteps of your Olympic heroes

You'll be able to follow in the footsteps of Olympics greats such as Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton next year, as a date has finally been set for the re-opening of the Velodrome and the BMX track.

Team GB powered its way to a world-beating 16 gold medals at the site in Stratford, and in seven months' time the venue will come back to life, as Rags Martel reports.

Cyclists need £30 coaching session before trying track

How the new Velopark will look when it opens in March. Credit: London Legacy Development Corporation

Cycle fans may have to pay up to £30 for their first chance to try out the track where Sir Chris Hoy, Dame Sarah Storey and Laura Trott won gold at the London 2012 Games.

The 6,000-seat London 2012 velodrome and BMX track at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford reopens on March 4 2014.

A coached accreditation session will be needed to ensure riders have the skills and confidence to tackle the swooping Siberian pine velodrome track and the BMX courses, said the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, which owns and runs the venue.

The building of an updated BMX and road cycling track is underway. Credit: London Legacy Development Corporation

The hour-long taster session on the 250m track for unaccredited riders costs £30. The price is £22 for people with a concession, which includes the under-18s.

Activities include a learn to ride programme for children

The array of activities will include a learn to ride programme for children Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Plans for the venue include:

  • Learn-to-ride programmes for children who have never been on a bike before

  • Coaching

  • Major international championships

  • All-ability sessions for people with additional needs

  • Programmes for schools, clubs and leagues

Many activities will need to be booked but people will be able to turn up and have a go on the mountain bike trails, BMX and road circuit. Prices start from £4 for children and £6 for adults and bookings will begin to be taken later this year.

Cycle fans will also be able to ride out on a remodelled and floodlit version of the London 2012 BMX track and the 6,000-seat velodrome with its 250-metre track will be open "for all to have a go", the LVRPA said.

There will be taster sessions as well as a full accreditation programme taking first-timers to competition level. Riders can also take on five miles (8km) of new mountain bike trails, graded by difficulty into black, red and blue routes at the VeloPark.

The velodrome this morning. Credit: Rags Martel/ITN

They could also race around the new and floodlit one-mile road circuit, which is being built on the site of the former Eastway Cycle Circuit.

Unparalleled facilities will deliver Olympic promise

Laura Trott winning an Olympic gold at the Velodrome last year. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Cycling stars of the London 2012 Games will be back at the scene of their sporting glory as part of the grand opening on March 14 and 15, as the grand finale of Revolution -Britain's top annual track cycling series - has been moved there for this special occasion.

The VeloPark, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, must cater for everyone from children to champions, according to LVRPA chief executive Shaun Dawson.

Around 600,000 visitors a year are expected.

Mr Dawson noted:

"It is iconic and sexy and where the Olympics were held. It will help to pay for the community stream (of programmes) but we need to strike a balance with the pricing.

"For people who have never ridden a bike, to those who are setting world records, these unparalleled facilities will deliver the Olympic promise of inspiring a generation," he said.

"Our ethos is to run venues that are community-focused and commercially-driven."

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Sessions from just £2

The Lee Valley VeloPark will run sessions from £2 for club cyclists and £4 for individual riders from March 2014 Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Olympic velodrome and BMX track will reopen on March 4 next year.

A year ago, riders such as Dame Sarah Storey, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Laura Trott powered Britain to a world-beating 16 gold medals - eight in the Olympics and eight in the Paralympics.

In seven months, the east London site of their victories - now called the Lee Valley VeloPark - reopens to the public, with sessions from £2 for club cyclists and £4 for individual riders.

The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA), which owns and runs the site, is billing it as "the world's premier cycling venue" as it boasts the 2012 velodrome, a remodelled Olympic BMX circuit alongside new mountain bike trails, and a floodlit road circuit.

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