This year the World Cup is staged in London’s new Olympic Park, at the Velodrome, as a test event for the main fortnight later in 2012. The Velodrome (once you reach it, as it is a lengthy trip through security and then – as the site is not yet finished – on buses to the venue itself) is impressive, a large, bright space with a track of Siberian pine, a vast auditorium with underseat heating and good sightlines – but variable WiFi provision – and a variety of food and drink stands, a small Olympic shop, and a decent number of toilets.
It was my first track cycling event and although some of the races were hard to follow, there were decent enough scoreboards and a constant commentary. There were Team GB world records and appearances from names which would seem to be household words for those who are sport afficiandos. There was the added bonus of a twitter hashtag which allowed related messages to be posted on the big screens during the lengthy points race in particular.
Although I wouldn’t call myself a fan of this particular sport you can certainly appreciate the skill and preparation that goes into these races from the athlete’s perspective; it is also good to see so many younger names coming up, as well as the veterans who will be taking their final bows at the 2012 Olympics.