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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 July, 2005, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
Track 'for next Olympians' saved
Herne Hill Velodrome, courtesy of the London Velodrome Trust
The track is thought to be the oldest of its kind
A track where Britain's future Olympic cyclists could be trained has been saved after landowners and the sport's governing body reached an agreement.

The Herne Hill Velodrome, which has been in use since the 1890s, was closed in February when Dulwich Estate refused to extend Southwark Council's lease.

The landowners did so because they did not think the council's plan to improve ageing facilities was sufficient.

British Cycling will now regenerate the south London site.

The track will not be used as a venue for the 2012 Olympics, but it is considered an important training ground for potential competitors.

'Thriving community club'

In a joint statement, British Cycling's chief executive Peter King and John Major, the chief executive of The Dulwich Estate, said the move would ensure "the Olympic Talent Team squads, from which the UK's 2012 podium athletes are beginning to emerge, can get essential access to the track for training and events".

Graeme Geddes, chair of the London Velodrome Trust, which has campaigned to keep the track in use, said the velodrome was unique because it was the oldest and biggest outdoor track as well as being suitable for all abilities.

He said: "Our double Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins spent his years as a junior on Herne Hill Velodrome and had a lot of fun doing so and it's vital that other young Bradley Wiggins have a regional training venue in London."

British Cycling said it would be working with local clubs to creative a "thriving community club".

Work starts on the regeneration plans over the coming months.

The first cycle meet at the reopened club is likely to be on the first weekend of August, Mr Geddes said.




SEE ALSO:
Velodrome trust to raise 6m
26 Nov 03 |  London
Historic velodrome under threat
05 Jun 03 |  London


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