Last Saturday afternoon the lad and I took ourselves up to the Lee Valley Velopark in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – aka the Olympic Velodrome or The Pringle – to watch the final evening session of the Revolution Series Round 5 track racing. It was a great experience.
I’d not been inside the Olympic Velodrome before and have to admit to wanting to go partly to see the building itself – as well as to watch the cycling – and I wasn’t disappointed (in either). I’ve seen the outside close up (I took part in the Olympic Park 5 mile run in 2012) and have wanted to see it since.
We drove up to London from Southend and ended up parking at the Westfield Shopping Centre as it seems you have to pre-book parking at the Velodrome (didn’t see that on their website) but that was okay and it was only £9 for 24hrs which wasn’t that bad.
Entry to the velodrome is through airlock doors and bam – you are inside a bright warm arena with cyclists warming up on the track and music playing over the speakers. It was a great atmosphere. And we had great seats right at trackside at the end of the back straight.
Then followed over three hours of great entertainment and excitement from all the different races in the programme – 18 or so in total. These included short sprint races, mass-start points races, madison time trial races, and my favourite of the night – the Derny Race.
The latter race saw 6 or 8 derny bikes warming up around the track before a race that had a derny and bike pair racing other such pairs. The icing on that particular cake was to see the brilliant Laura Trott take first place.
Needless to say I had my camera with me – a fairly basic Nikon D5200 plus 70-300mm zoom – and I took over 1,000 photos (apologies those around me) from which I have selected 250 or so of the best. Click on the image or link below.
The whole experience was fantastic. The venue was great and whilst the food and drink were expensive, they were of good quality and quantity. The facilities were excellent and the views of the action exceptional from pretty much everywhere. The lad and I had a go at guessing the seating capacity and we reckon it was only around 3000 or so.
I have included below a selection of the best of the photos I took and you can find all the others via the link above. Remember all my photos are copyright so get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to reproduce them.
If you want to watch the action yourself there is a youtube video of the whole evening which I have included after the photos.
I hope you like the photos. I welcome any comments and do please share this blog if you have enjoyed it.