Sad Storey

Despite helping power Britain to gold last week at the World Cup in Columbia, Sarah Storey has been told that her efforts were not enough to earn her a place in the women’s team pursuit Olympic squad; dashing her hopes of becoming Britain’s first ever Paralympic and Olympic athlete. 34-year-old Storey who was born without a left hand, won two gold medals at the 1992 Paralympics aged just 14, later switching her attention to cycling and debuting for GB at the Manchester leg of the World Cup back in February (and not incidentally helping break the British record in the process.)


Writing on her website ( she says: ‘I have always said that London 2012 is about riding as many events as I am good enough for and so now it is important for me to concentrate on the other events I have at the Games…I always said the Team Pursuit was another opportunity to become the best athlete I could be and it would be a bonus if I was able to make the event work alongside the events in which I am Para-cycling World Champion. As with any team event the squad has to work to get the fastest three riders on the start line in the Olympic final and in the eyes of the selectors I am not able to contribute to this process any longer..’


Her records speak for themselves:

7 Paralympic Gold Medals (5 swimming, 2 cycling)
18 World Championship titles (6 swimming, 12 cycling)
21 European titles (18 swimming, 3 cycling)
6 World Cup titles (5 Paracycling, 1 able-bodied cycling)
More than 140 National titles (including 3 able-bodied National titles on the track)
71 World Records



2012 Velodrome Tickets

2012 VelodromeWith velodrome tickets for the 2012 Olympic Games as rare as hen’s teeth (technically sold out – but always the possibility that more will be floated) there is still an opportunity for top-flight cycling fans to take a look inside the iconic new building with tickets for the fourth and final leg of the UCI World Cup – or the “UCI Track Cycling World Cup presented by Samsung” as it is officially to be known – going on sale from November 17. Replacing Manchester for the first time on the calendar, not only will this be the chance to see many of the Olympic hopefuls pedal to glory, but also marks the first major Olympic test event within the stunning £95million, 6,000 seat venue. Tickets for the event, set to run February 17-19, are to be priced between £10 and £40, with priority booking for British Cycling members from 15 November before the general release two days later. See you there?



Absalon Approves 2012 Course

olympic mountain bike courseThe 2012 Olympic Mountain Bike course at Hadleigh Farm, Essex – which was completed on schedule back in March – has been undergoing further test rides with reigning Olympic champion Julien Absalon declaring it, “…a new generation of track, with a lot of artificial parts – it’s more spectacular.” The custom-built course is set on a hilly 550-acre site now owned by the Salvation Army with a backdrop consisting of views across the Thames estuary and the 700-year-old ruins of Hadleigh Castle. Chair of the London Organising Committee, Lord Coe, has (somewhat generously) described it as “one of the most beautiful venues I have seen in the world.” The Olympic action will take place on Saturday August 11 and Sunday August 12 with 80 competitors (50 men, 30 women) peddling it out for the two medals on offer for the discipline. Take a look at the video below to see just what these brave/foolhardy athletes are in for…



London-Surrey Goes Ahead

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has confirmed, that despite the unrest in the Capital, the London-Surrey Cycle Classic, the road test event for London 2012, will still go ahead this coming Sunday, August 14. With other sporting fixtures cancelled (tonight’s international between England and the Netherlands for example) and with this being considered one of toughest Olympic events to stage and effectively police, the announcement has been met with more than a little surprise. The 140km course, which starts on The Mall, heads through Westminster then crosses the Thames to Putney and on through Surrey will be one of the few free-to-view Olympic events and this Sunday’s test run will see what is probably the greatest field of cyclists to peddle the UK’s roads since the Tour de France held the prologue here on July 7, 2007.


This Sunday’s event has already attracted a degree of controversy following the “warning” advert taken out in the Evening Standard on August 8 by the Mayor of London’s Office and Transport for London (TFL) that declared: “The cyclists are coming. Travel will be severely affected.” Hardly the kind of pro-cycling message with which Boris Johnson usually associates himself…



The Only Way is Essex

2012 mountain bikeThe London 2012 Mountain Bike course has now been completed and unveiled in Hadleigh, Essex. The course, which will be home to the action on August 11 and 12, 2012, will see 80 competitors (50 men, 30 women) battling it out for just two medal events and is set to be one of the most dramatic of two-wheel Olympic undertakings. Mountain Biking has only enjoyed Olympic recognition since the 1990s but has seen a rapid growth in interest and uptake, and this purpose-built 5km course includes 6 major climbs, a number of additional shorter ups and is intended to be a highly technical challenge despite clearly having been designed very much with television coverage in mind.


With little in the way of shade (or indeed any spectator obstructions) the venue should also prove ideal for those who pitch up to watch in person, Lord Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee, has described the site as “one of the most beautiful venues I have seen in the world.” It’s true that the extensive views down across the Thames Estuary, via the petroleum refineries of Canvey Island, to the marshy north coast of Kent are fairly engaging, but Cyclo can’t help thinking that Lord Coe has perhaps not travelled as extensively as his CV might suggest…



Hoy’s London Focus

Sir Chris Hoy – triple gold medallist at the 2008 Beijing Games – has announced that he will hold off a decision on whether or not to compete in the Commonwealth Games until after the 2012 London Olympics. At 35 Hoy is inarguably a veteran (and Scotland’s most lauded and awarded Olympian to boot) and having pulled out of last year’s Delhi Commonwealth Games to concentrate on Olympic qualifiers he managed just two silver and one bronze at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in March; marking the first time he has failed to strike Gold in seven years.


But as a national hero his work certainly continues unabated. This week he has been helping to promote the start of the Bank of Scotland National School Sport Week, an initiative in partnership with sportscotland (the national agency for sport) which aims to see: “…pupils achieving their personal bests, living the Olympic and Paralympic Values and trying new sports.” With Hoy on board one of those “new sports” for many pupils will naturally involve two wheels…


For more information on the Bank of Scotland National School Sport Week visit:



Herne Hill Lives

Herne Hill VelodromeCyclo loves to hear good news. It would appear that the Herne Hill Velodrome, the last remaining venue from the 1948 London Olympic Games still in active use, has been rescued creeping disrepair and potential closure following an agreement to sign over a new 15-year lease. For a number of years the iconic venue has been forced to operate on a series of rolling single-year contracts that have made it impossible for the trustees to commit to the much needed renovations.


Speaking to the BBC Peter King of British Cycling (and one of the original Herne Hill trustees) commented: “Now that we have secured the terms for a 15-year lease we will be able to do the repairs, which means resurfacing the track, and repairing the fencing, to enable the track to perform properly again.”


As the track at which the likes of Bradley Wiggins began their career it is hoped that Herne Hill will be able to play a role in the 2012 London Games – not, of course, as either a competition venue or even training facility – but as a place for those inspired by the Olympics to enjoy grass-roots entry in to the sport.


For more information about Herne Hill Velodrome visit


Featured Features

Cycling First: The 2012 Velodrome

2012 VelodromeDoesn’t it fill the UK’s cycling community with pride to know that the first major London Olympic venue to be brought to completion is the stunning £95million Velodrome? With claims of being the fastest cycling track in the world the Velodrome was officially opened in late February with the 6,000 seat venue making a stunning addition to the rapidly emerging Olympic park; it’s already being hailed as the default architectural icon of the development and it’s easy to see why.


The key team responsible for design and delivery comprised Chris Wise, Dean Goodliffe, Mike Taylor and Ron Webb, the former Australian cycling champion, who has already been involved in the instillation of more than 50 tracks world-wide including those for both the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Webb has commented that “Building a track is like building a ship inside out”, and with the London Velodrome featuring one of the largest cable-net roofs in the UK along with 56km of Siberian pine all nudged in to place with 350,000 nails it’s easy to grasp the nautical simile. Fact-fanatics might also like to note that the entire structure sits on 900 piles that had to be driven to an exceptional depth of 26m due to the fact that the development area is, basically, a 100-year-old landfill site. If you win a pub-quiz now you know that, you owe Cyclo a beer (it’s the rules.)


Other innovations for London include a 360degree glass wall between the upper and lower tiers of seating to give panoramic views across the park (though eyes on the track would seem more appropriate), seating around the entire track rather than just the straights, climate control to hold things around the 29°C mark for improved times, plus a track-side competitors’ loo suggested, legend has it, by Sir Chris Hoy.


Of course legacy has been a key term right from the beginning of the bid to stage the 2012 Games and the Velodrome and wider VeloPark are at the heart of this commitment. Once the final medals have been awarded and the Olympic flame handed on, a new mountain bike course and road-cycle circuit will be added for use not just by elite athletes, but by sports clubs and the wider community. Added to this will be cafes, bike hire facilities and cycle workshops all of which will help to create a new cycling “hub” which will be owned, run and (mostly) funded by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.


With Track Cycling having been, by far, Great Britain’s biggest success in Beijing (more than a third of Team GB’s total golds came via peddle power) it’s clear that riders will be pushing hard to up their game for 2012 and London’s Velodrome will provide a stunning background whilst the drama unfolds. Here at Cyclo we can’t wait to get inside and have a play (where was our invitation in February?)


(Velodrome image courtesy of LOCOG)