Webcam shows progress on London 2012 Velodrome track

By Richard High16 September 2010

A team of 26 specialist carpenters have installed 356 vertical timber trusses that will support the

A team of 26 specialist carpenters have installed 356 vertical timber trusses that will support the track of the London 2012 velodrome. With the support trusses now in place, 56 km of surface timber w

New images and a new webcam have been unveiled by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) showing work underway to install the timber cycling track of the London 2012 Velodrome.

The 6000 seat Velodrome will host the Olympic and Paralympic track cycling events in 2012. After the Games, the legacy Velodrome will be used by elite athletes and the local community. Facilities will also include a café, bike hire and cycle workshop.

With the venue's distinct double-curved roof now covered and the building watertight, work is underway to install the timber cycling track.

The ODA says it is aiming to "create the world's fastest cycling track" by "tailoring the track geometry" and setting the temperature and environmental conditions inside to create record-breaking conditions.

The venue has also been designed with seating all the way round the track to create the best possible crowd atmosphere during events.

A team of 26 specialist carpenters have now installed 356 vertical timber support trusses that will support the track. With these now in place, 56 km of surface timber will be laid to form the track surface.

This will be constructed from sustainably-sourced Siberian pine, specially selected, say the ODA, because the trees are known for being straight and tall, making them suitable for the lengths of timber required to shape the track.

The extreme Siberian climate also means the timber is very stable and will not shrink or contract in the environmental conditions of the Velodrome.

Commenting on the progress made so far, ODA chief executive David Higgins said, "The start of work on the Velodrome track is a significant milestone and takes us another step closer to this becoming the first Olympic Park venue to be completed early next year.

"Seeing the track beginning to take shape gives us a first look at where we hope world records will be broken in 2012 and where a new generation of cyclists will be able to take to their bikes for many years to come."

Construction work started on the Velodrome in March 2009 and the venue is on track to be completed early next year, making it the first Olympic Park venue to be completed. After the Games, a road cycle circuit and mountain bike course will be added to the Velodrome and BMX circuit to create a legacy VeloPark that will combine cycling facilities across all disciplines in one cycling 'hub'.

The legacy VeloPark will be owned and managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. The construction of the VeloPark facilities includes funding from Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA), Sport England, Transport for London (TfL), and the London Marathon Charitable Trust (LMCT).

To see a video animation of the completed Velodrome CLICK HERE


Velodrome facilities:

  • 250m UCI (International Cycling Union) approved indoor track and 100 m warm up circuit
  • 6000 seats and 360 degree Public Concourse in legacy for viewing all cycling activities
  • Legacy café, changing rooms, cycle workshop, & storage for over 300 bikes
  • Legacy bike hire outlet for families to hire bikes to use the new cycling facilities
  • Venue will be linked into cycle routes across London, linking the new venue with the whole of the capital

Velodrome design:

  • Distinct Velodrome roof designed to reflect the geometry of the cycling track
  • The 6000 seats are split into a lower and upper tier, allowing a 360 degrees concourse level in between with a continuous ribbon of full height windows
  • The 360 degree glazed concourse level in legacy will offer spectators inside the Velodrome views out onto the rest of the Olympic Park and across the London skyline, while allowing people outside of the Velodrome views into the venue and down onto the cycling track


  • Some 48000 m3 of material was excavated to create the bowl for the Velodrome, enough to fill 19 Olympic-sized swimming pools
  • More than 900 piles were driven up to 26 me beneath the ground to complete the foundations of the venue
  • More than 2500 sections of steelwork were installed to complete the steel structure of the Velodrome
  • The cable-net roof is 12000 m2 in size and uses 16 km of cabling
  • A team of 26 specialist carpenters have installed 356 vertical timber support trusses that will support the track
  • 56 km of surface timber will be laid to form the track surface. The track surface will be built from a sustainably-sourced Siberian pine

Sustainability elements:

  • The building has been designed to be lightweight and efficient to reflect the efficient design of a bicycle
  • The use of abundant daylight through strategically positioned rooflights reduces need for artificial lighting and allows natural ventilation
  • Water saving fittings and collection of rainwater for reuse in building are built into design to help reduce water consumption
  • Compact design minimises energy consumed to heat the main arena
  • Lightweight cable-net roof structure weighs 30 kg/m2 compared to 65kg/m2 for the Beijing Velodrome, helping create a highly efficient building

The Velodrome is being constructed by ISG who were also responsible for replacing the track at the Manchester Velodrome where the British team securing nine gold medals at the World Cycling Championships in 2008

The design team for the VeloPark is made up of Hopkins Architects, Expedition Engineering, BDSP and Grant Associates, who were appointed in 2007 following a design competition judged by leading names from the world of architecture and design as well as Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy.

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