Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority made the announcement today (Thursday 29 August) and said: “We are absolutely thrilled and honoured to have these world class athletes as ambassadors for our world class venue.
“Laura and Mark will be an inspiration to the thousands of people who will visit Lee Valley VeloPark and their achievements and success at the Games will spur people who have never ridden before to take up cycling for health and fitness reasons and as a leisure activity as well as encourage and motivate those who are looking to ride as a competitive sport.
“Lee Valley VeloPark is a premier cycling venue and from 4 March 2014, the public will be able to try track cycling, BMX, mountain biking and road cycling. No other cycling venue in the world has brought these four disciplines together and having Laura and Mark as ambassadors for these unparalleled facilities will deliver the Olympic promise of inspiring a new generation of cyclists.”
Laura Trott said: “I am hugely excited to be the ambassador for Lee Valley VeloPark. It holds a very special place in my heart, with unforgettable memories from London 2012. With its world class facilities, it really will inspire the next generation of cyclists; something that I feel passionate about and hope to help achieve through my role here.”
Mark Colbourne said: “I do feel honoured to have competed in the velodrome and very proud to have raced and won in front of my home crowd. I felt totally euphoric when I won my gold medal in the 3km pursuit but at the same time felt rather sad. This was because my thoughts were of my father who had passed away six months previous to stomach cancer, as he wasn’t there to see me live out my sporting dream and become a Paralympic champion.
“I’ve always enjoyed helping other people from all walks of life and I do feel that due to my hard work and determination never to give up when living out my dream. This ambassadorial role will help me to inspire many more children in their quest to achieve great things in sport and in life.
“The world class Lee Valley VeloPark is a testament to what can be gained from a home Games. The facilities are state of the art for all kinds of cycling, and with the various kinds of sport within cycling today, these family and group conditions can and will benefit every kind of cycling athlete for many years to come.”
The outstanding venue, which is on the site of the former Eastway Cycle Circuit will feature everything from learn to ride programmes for children who have never been on a bike before, to major championships bringing the world’s best riders back to the venue.
There will be all ability sessions available for people with additional needs, and programmes for schools, clubs and leagues. Sessions will start from £2 for club riders and £4 for individuals.
On 14 and 15 March, the velodrome will welcome back the heroes of the London 2012 Games for the grand finale of Britain’s top annual track cycling event – Revolution Series – the first major event to take place there after the Games.
From 4 March 2014, visitors will be able to:
· experience the adrenalin rush of BMX on a remodelled and floodlit version of the London 2012 track. Take on the toughest challenges, and ride from early in the morning to late in the evening. Whether a beginner or an expert, coaching will be available to perfect skills.
· ride the iconic London 2012 velodrome where Team GB and Paralympics GB won gold during the Games. The 6,000 seat velodrome with its 250 metre track will be open for all to have a go. There will be taster sessions which will mean everyone can experience this thrilling discipline, plus a full accreditation programme taking first timers to competition level.
· take on 5 miles (8km) of brand new mountain bike trails, graded by difficulty into black, red and blue routes.
· race around the brand new and floodlit one mile road circuit, which is being built on the site of the former Eastway Cycle Circuit. This is where five-times Tour de France winner and cycling legend Eddy Merckx took on all comers, and Sir Bradley Wiggins raced in his younger days before going onto Olympic and Tour de France glory.
Hire bikes and equipment will be available, or visitors can bring their own bikes. Lee Valley VeloPark will also have a bike workshop and café and be open 7:00-23:00, seven days a week.
Races and major events will be held here including the finale of the Revolution Series next March. The venue is the UK’s bid for the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, the most important track cycling event ahead of the Rio Games.