Freelance journalist from Derry, Northern Ireland.
Published August 26th 2018
As one of Glasgow's and indeed one of the United Kingdom's most striking and revered sporting arenas, the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at the Emirates Arena truly is a world-class venue for both elite athletes and the broader public to make use of.
Situated in the East End of Glasgow, next door to the renowned Celtic Park, home of Scottish football's Celtic Football Club, the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome boasts a 250-metre indoor cycling track, where as many as 4,500 onlookers can enjoy the action of the many world cycling events staged at the venue.
The Velodrome gets its name from Olympic and Commonwealth gold-medal winning Scottish cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, who at the time was Britain's most successful Olympic athlete. And while many may subsequently assume such an esteemed venue would only house top-level cyclists from every corner of the world, those assumptions would certainly be inaccurate.
As well as standing proudly as the home of both Sportscotland and Scottish Cycling, anyone can take the opportunity to enjoy the experience of cycling around such an impressive track. Not only are introductory sessions on offer, but a four-stage accreditation process can furthermore allow aspiring cyclists the opportunity to experience several different sessions from sprint to endurance training, among numerous others.
An Irish athlete under pressure from the media in the mixed zone
It is, however, far from an easy task, made evident by the fact that riders plying their trade at the very top often crash or fail as they battle it out with one another, not least due to the mesmerising speeds of over 40mph that several reach. And while these stunning velocities are almost unbelievable, spectators can indeed see such riders for themselves in the major events that the Velodrome is tasked with hosting, where fascinating and unique viewing points are on offer.
The aforementioned major sporting events make for impressive reading, with the 2013 UCI Juniors Track World Championships, the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 European Track Cycling Championships all being held in the Velodrome since its establishment in 2012. Moreover, the venue is particularly special due to media access, whereby journalists and reporters can speak to the athletes on their immediate exit from the track within the mixed zone, inside the track itself, a hugely unfamiliar feature compared to other Olympic events.
With easy access to the Velodrome through a range of transport systems, and with Dalmarnock and Bridgeton railway stations just a ten-minute walk from the venue, visiting or participating in events at the venue is a hugely worthwhile experience, particularly if travelling from the city centre of Glasgow.
The podium for those who have made it to the very top
Constructed by globally-renowned German designer Ralph Schuermann, a well-respected and admired architect in the track cycling industry, the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome differs greatly from other tracks around the world, with its steep and challenging corners and generally fast-paced straights both contributing to this formidable venue for track cyclists.