The chance to take a look at the Olympic velodrome (and other venues) with cyclist Lizzie Armitstead? Don't mind if we do!
Wow! Standing beside the spanking new indoor Olympic cycling track leaves sprint cyclist Lizzie Armitstead almost speechless.
'It makes me realise how close we are to the actual Olympics, seeing this all finished and ready to use,' Lizzie gasps.
It is a beautiful sight: a vast and empty arena now, all eyes will be on the Velodrome once the cycling events get under way in July 2012. With design input from Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy, architects have created a venue that is not only stunning to look at inside and out, but also one of the world's best cycle tracks from a competitor's point of view.
Velodromes can suffer from being dark and oppressive, but the London 2012 cycling arena benefits from natural light that pours in via windows in the roof and a ring of glass on the viewing concourse. This makes it pleasant for bothspectators and competitors, but also adds eco-credentials as it will require less artificial lighting once the Olympic cameras have been switched off and the venue becomes a public facility.
One of Sir Chris' requests was for seats to be located all round the track to create a non-stop wall of noise for cyclists as they race - many velodromes have seating just at the sides so vocal suppport tails off as cyclists ascend the 42-degree banked corners. No danger of that at London 2012.
If you are lucky enough to have tickets for an Olympic cycling event, the cheering is likely to be deafening. While the stadium seats 6,000 it feels much more intimate, and every spectator can expect an unforgettable view. Seating rises to the ceiling with an incline steep enough to induce vertigo.
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