Herne Hill cycle track in south London re-opens with state-of-the-art surface

Herne Hill Velodrome in South London re-opened this week with a new £500,000 state-of-the-art surface paid for by British Cycling, the body that oversees the UK sports cycling.

The buildings and track had fallen into disrepair in recent years, but a successful campaign (supported by Southwark Cyclists, the local LCC group) has kept the track open, and seen the first step in a significant programme of investment in the facility.

The new surface is a fast-drying velodrome-specific tarmac, and should allow the track to open more frequently than previously.

The track was built in 1891, and is the last remaining venue from the 1948 Olympic Games still in use.

Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, attended the opening ceremony on Wednesday 7 September 2011, saying: "It's fitting that the year before London 2012, we are able to celebrate the refurbishment of the track at one of the key venues from the 1948 Games.

Gold-medal-winning Olympian Bradley Wiggins, currently competing in the Vuelta d'Espana, said: "I have such fond memories of Herne Hill, which played an important role in my development as a rider. I remember the buzz I got from racing there when I was younger and that really gave me the bug for the sport."

photo: British Cycling Chris Boardman leads the first group of riders around the newly resurfaced Herne Hill velodrome in South London (more photos)