The 6,000-seater Velodrome has become the first London 2012 stadium to be officially opened.

At the prestigious opening event, Beijing Games medal winners Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar, all inspected the impressive £93million venue.  It has already been nicknamed the 'Pringle' due to the inverted roof and has been earmarked as the world’s fastest track.

Olympic Delivery Authority chairman John Armitt said: "In delivering the Velodrome on time and to budget, we have completed our first Olympic Park venue and biggest milestone to date. The striking architecture and the medal prospects of our world-leading cyclists mean the venue will become one of the defining images from the Games, and a landmark new building for future generations to enjoy."

Construction work started in March 2009 and has been completed within budget. It took a team of 26 carpenters eight weeks to install the Siberian pine track and more than 350,000 nails were used on its 56km of timber surface.

Sir Chris Hoy, British triple Gold medal-winner at the Beijing Games and the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time, said: "Having been involved in a very small way in the design process in the early stages, it’s amazing to see it finally completed. To be able to have ridden on it today gives me a feel for what it’s going to be like in less than 18 months time. I can’t wait!"

The stadium will host the Olympic and Paralympic track cycling events in 2012. After the Games, the Velodrome will be used by elite athletes and the local community. It will feature a cafe, bicycle hire and cycle workshop facilities.

Posted on 22/02/2011