Manchester Velodrome

Last updated

National Cycling Centre
Manchester Velodrome
Manchester Velodrome 2011.jpg
Panorama image of the Manchester Velodrome
LocationStuart Street
M11 4DQ
Owner City of Manchester
Operator British Cycling
Capacity 3,500
Field size250 metre track
OpenedSeptember 1994
ArchitectFaulknerBrowns Architects
Services engineerR.V. Webb (Velodrome track) [1] [2]
Sky Track Cycling (UCI Track Cycling)
Team Sky (UCI ProTeam)
Manchester Wheelers' Club [3]
Major events hosted
2002 Commonwealth Games
UCI Track Cycling World Championships
(1996, 2000, 2008,
British National Track Championships
Revolution Cycling series

Manchester Velodrome is an indoor Olympic-standard cycle-racing track in Manchester, England, which opened in 1994. Part of the National Cycling Centre, the facility has been home to British Cycling since 1994 and the five time Tour de France-winning UCI ProTeam Team Sky since it formed in 2009. The Manchester Velodrome has been cited as the major catalyst for Britain's successes in track and road cycling and has been described by Cycling Weekly as the "beating heart of British Cycling’s ascension to the top of world cycling". [4] [5] [6]

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 3.2 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

The HSBC UK National Cycling Centre is a multipurpose cycling venue in Sportcity, Manchester, Great Britain. It includes an indoor Velodrome and a BMX arena and outdoor mountain bike trials. It also has offices for British Cycling, the governing body for cycling in Britain.

British Cycling

British Cycling is the main national governing body for cycle sport in Great Britain. It administers most competitive cycling in Great Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It represents Britain at the world body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and selects national teams, including the Great Britain (GB) Cycling Team for races in Britain and abroad. As of 2015, it has a total membership of 116,644.


For 18 years from opening, it was the only indoor Olympic-standard track in the United Kingdom before the completion of the Lee Valley VeloPark for the 2012 Summer Olympics and is one of the busiest velodromes in the world used by both professional cyclists and members of the public from 8am to 10pm. [7] [8] [9]

Lee Valley VeloPark velodrome

Lee Valley VeloPark is a cycling centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. It is owned and managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, and it was opened to the public in March 2014. The facility was one of the permanent venues for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

2012 Summer Olympics Games of the XXX Olympiad, held in London in 2012

The 2012 Summer Olympics, formally the Games of the XXX Olympiad and commonly known as London 2012, was an international multi-sport event that was held from 27 July to 12 August 2012 in London, United Kingdom. The first event, the group stage in women's football, began on 25 July at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, followed by the opening ceremonies on 27 July. 10,768 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participated.

The venue hosted track cycling for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and forms part of the Sportcity complex, located adjacent to the City of Manchester Stadium, host stadium for the 2002 Games and home of Manchester City F.C. It has also hosted the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 1996, 2000 and 2008, hosts regular meets of the Revolution track cycling series and now hosts Six-day racing. The National Indoor BMX Arena adjacent opened in 2011 and the Velodrome can be accessed from the Metrolink Velopark tram stop on the East Manchester Line.

2002 Commonwealth Games 17th edition of the Commonwealth Games

The 2002 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XVII Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Manchester 2002 were held in Manchester, England, from 25 July to 4 August 2002. The 2002 Games were to be hosted in the United Kingdom to coincide with the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II, head of the Commonwealth, and Manchester was selected for the 2002 Games ahead of London. The XVII Commonwealth Games was, prior to the 2012 Summer Olympics, the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in the UK, eclipsing the London 1948 Summer Olympics in numbers of teams and athletes participating. In terms of sports and events, the 2002 Games were the largest Commonwealth Games in history featuring 281 events across 17 sports.


Sportcity in Manchester was used to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games. It is in east Manchester, a mile from Manchester city centre, and was developed on former industrial land including the site of Bradford Colliery.

City of Manchester Stadium home ground of Manchester City Football Club in England

The City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, England, currently known as the Etihad Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is the home of Manchester City and, with a domestic football capacity of 55,097, the fifth-largest in the Premier League and tenth-largest in the United Kingdom.


The exterior of the Manchester Velodrome from Stuart Street. Manchester Velodrome 2.jpg
The exterior of the Manchester Velodrome from Stuart Street.
Internal view of the Velodrome. Manchester Velodrome roof.jpg
Internal view of the Velodrome.

The Manchester Velodrome was developed as a joint venture between Sport England, Manchester City Council and British Cycling, who recognised the need for an Olympic-standard facility in the United Kingdom to improve British track cycling. Funding was provided by the government, through the Department of the Environment (£6.5m), the Sports Council (£2m) and the Foundation for Sport and the Arts (£1m). Manchester City Council is the freehold owner and the centre is managed by the Eastlands Trust (formerly named the Velodrome Trust). [1] The Velodrome was dismissed by some as a potential white elephant prior to opening – concerns that were later unfounded with the facility well used by the public and a key part of Britain's ascension to the top of track cycling. [10] [11] [12] [13]

Sport England is a non-departmental public body under the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Its role is to build the foundations of a community sport system by working with national governing bodies of sport, and other funded partners, to grow the number of people doing sport; sustain participation levels; and help more talented people from all diverse backgrounds excel by identifying them early, nurturing them, and helping them move up to the elite level.

Manchester City Council Local government body in England

Manchester City Council is the local government authority for Manchester, a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. It is composed of 96 councillors, three for each of the 32 electoral wards of Manchester. The council is controlled by the Labour Party and led by Sir Richard Leese. The opposition is formed by the Liberal Democrats and led by former Manchester Withington MP John Leech. Joanne Roney is the chief executive. Many of the council's staff are based at Manchester Town Hall.

The velodrome was designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects and has garnered a reputation for speed since its opening. [14] The centre’s roof structure is based around a 122-metre, 200 tonne arch allowing for an unrestricted viewing area for spectators. Covered by an aluminium roof, the total structure weighs around 600 tonnes. The track is 250 metres long and its bankings reach 42 degrees in the middle. [1] The track is as steep at the top as it is on the black (racing) line. On 21 May 2007 the velodrome closed for resurfacing in Siberian pine at a cost of £400,000. It reopened on 16 July 2007, and is considered a smoother ride. [15]

By 30 March 2008, more than 15 world records had been set, including Chris Boardman's 1996 and 2000 hour records and the 4000 metre team pursuit record set by the Great Britain men's team at the 2008 World Championships.

Chris Boardman English racing cyclist

Christopher Miles Boardman, MBE is a British former racing cyclist who won an individual pursuit gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics, broke the world hour record three times, and won three stages and wore the yellow jersey on three separate occasions at the Tour de France. In 1992, he was awarded an MBE for services to cycling.

The hour record is the record for the longest distance cycled in one hour on a bicycle from a stationary start. Cyclists attempt this record alone on the track without other competitors present. It is considered perhaps the most prestigious record in all of cycling. Over history, various cyclists ranging from unknown amateurs to well-known professionals have held the record, adding to its prestige and allure. There is now one unified record for upright bicycles meeting the requirements of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). Hour-record attempts for UCI bikes are made in a velodrome.

Team pursuit team event in cycle racing

The team pursuit is a track cycling event similar to the individual pursuit, except that two teams, each of up to four riders, compete, starting on opposite sides of the velodrome.

The UCI hour record set by Boardman in the Best Human Effort category in 1996, [16] was rescinded by UCI in 2000 and subsequent attempts at breaking Eddy Merckx's 1972 record stopped as UCI believed advanced bicycle technology gave cyclists too much help. [17] Boardman set out to break the record on a bike comparable to Eddy Merckx's 1972 machine. He surpassed the record at the velodrome in 2000, achieving a distance of 49.444km as against the 1972 record of 49.431 km, and then retired. [18]

The velodrome has become a popular venue for cyclists with taster and practice sessions frequently booked up several weeks in advance. [19] In 2011, the National Indoor BMX Arena was opened next to the velodrome. [20] Plans proposed in 2012 included a mountain bike trail on Clayton Vale, which would be the first facility of its kind in the United Kingdom and would aim to replicate Britain's performance on the track in mountain biking. [21]



Revolution 22 at the Manchester Velodrome ManchesterVelodrome Revolution22 FutureStars.jpg
Revolution 22 at the Manchester Velodrome

The Revolution Series opened in 2003 to build on events such as the world championships and World Cup meetings and provide more regular events. There were four Revolution events over the winter of 2003-04. They built good crowds. The seventh, in 2005, sold all the seats with further fans standing. The first official sell-out was Revolution 14. The series of sprint and endurance events runs on Saturday nights. Internationals compete with British stars and up-and-coming talent. Some riders have retired at Revolution events, rewarded with a retirement presentation. A Future Stars competition has races for young riders aged 15 or 16 to test their sprint and endurance. Olympic riders Jason Kenny and Steven Burke came up through this series. In 2012 it was announced that Revolution events would take place at the recently opened London Velodrome and Glasgow Velodrome from 2013.

Other events

On 2 July 2009 Kraftwerk performed at the velodrome as part of the 2009 Manchester International Festival. As they performed Tour de France , four members of the British Olympic cycling team entered and rode laps of the track.

Notable events

Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish on their way to becoming the 2008 world Madison champions Wiggins Cavendish 2008.jpg
Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish on their way to becoming the 2008 world Madison champions

A list of notable events which Manchester Velodrome has hosted:

See also

Related Research Articles

Anna Meares Australian racing cyclist

Anna Maree Devenish Meares is an Australian retired track cyclist. She currently resides in Adelaide in South Australia where the Australian Institute of Sport's Track Cycling program has its headquarters at the Adelaide Super-Drome.

Craig MacLean Olympic track cyclist

Craig MacLean MBE is a Scottish track cyclist who has represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, winning a Silver Medal in the Team Sprint at the 2000 Olympics. As a sighted guide, McLean returned to the sport in its Paralympic form, piloting Neil Fachie to two gold medals in the 2011 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, and Anthony Kappes to a gold medal in the 2012 Paralympic Games. MacLean is only the second athlete, after Hungarian fencer Pál Szekeres, ever to win medals at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Shanaze Danielle Reade is a British Bicycle Motocross (BMX) racer and track cyclist whose prime competitive years began in 2002. She has won the UCI BMX World Championships three times. Reade is the daughter of a Jamaican father and an Irish mother.

Katie Prankerd Welsh racing cyclist

Catherine Rachel "Katie" Prankerd is a Welsh road and track cyclist and a member of the Podium Ambition Pro Cycling squad.

Jason Kenny British cyclist

Jason Francis Kenny, is a British track cyclist, specialising in the individual and team sprints. After winning multiple World and European Junior titles in 2006 and achieving medals in the under 23 European championships in 2007, Kenny was selected ahead of Ross Edgar to compete for Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Along with Chris Hoy and Jamie Staff, he won a gold medal in the team sprint, breaking the world record in the qualifying round. He finished behind team-mate Chris Hoy in the final of the individual sprint, gaining a silver medal.

Steven Burke cyclist

Steven James Burke, is an English track and road cyclist who rides for the Team Wiggins Le Col cycling team. He represented Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics, beating his pre-Olympics personal best in the individual pursuit by 11 seconds to take the bronze medal. He stood on the podium alongside his cycling idol, gold medalist Bradley Wiggins. In 2012, Burke was part of the Great Britain team that won the Olympic and World championships in the Team Pursuit discipline. He was part of the GB team that retained the team pursuit title at the 2016 Olympics.

Matthew Crampton English racing cyclist

Matthew "Matt" Nicholas Crampton is an English former track cyclist for Sky Track Cycling. He was a member of British Cycling's Olympic Podium Programme, and represented Great Britain at a number of major events. Crampton specialised in track sprinting and competed in the individual sprint, team sprint, keirin and kilo events.

Jessica Varnish English racing cyclist

Jessica "Jess" Varnish is a British track cyclist. Varnish is part of the reigning world record holding European team sprint champions and is a bronze medalist at the World Championships for the 500 metres.

Emma Davies Jones is a British Olympic cyclist. She competed in the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics.

Commonwealth Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome arena

The Commonwealth Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, known for sponsorship reasons as the Emirates Arena, is an indoor arena and velodrome in Dalmarnock, Glasgow, Scotland. Built for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, these venues hosted the badminton and track cycling events. Situated opposite Celtic Park in the East End of Glasgow, the complex is the headquarters of Sportscotland and Scottish Cycling.

Laura Kenny British cyclist

Laura Rebecca Kenny, is a British track and road cyclist who specialises in the team pursuit, omnium and scratch race disciplines.

Elinor Barker Welsh racing cyclist

Elinor Jane Barker, is a Welsh road and track racing cyclist, who currently rides for UCI Women's Team Drops, and for Welsh Cycling and Great Britain in international competitions. Barker is an Olympic, two-time world and four-time European champion in the team pursuit, as well as a world champion in the points race and scratch race. Barker was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to cycling.

Dannielle Khan is an English racing cyclist from Solihull, West Midlands, England, who currently rides for the GB women's endurance podium team. She won the sprint and 500m TT events at the Juniors world championships in 2013, as well as the silver medal in the Keirin.

Mohd Rizal Tisin is a Malaysian professional track cyclist. He represented his nation Malaysia at the 2008 Summer Olympics, and later established the nation's historic milestone as the first Malaysian to claim a track cycling medal at the 2009 UCI World Championships and at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Cycling in the United Kingdom

Cycling in the United Kingdom has a long history, since the earliest days of the bicycle, and after a decline in the mid 20th century has been undergoing a resurgence in recent decades.

The 2018–19 UCI Track Cycling World Cup was a multi-race tournament over a track cycling season. It was the 27th series of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup organised by the UCI.

The 2018–19 Six Day Series (also known as the Six Day Cycling Series is a multi six-day track cycling race tournament over a season. It is the 3rd series organised by the Madison Sports Group. This season consists of 7 events across 5 countries.


  1. 1 2 3 "Manchester Velodrome - About us". Manchester Velodrome. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  2. "Velodrome tracks by R.V. Webb". R.V. Webb Ltd. Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2012-07-14.
  3. "Manchester Wheelers' Club - Track". Manchester Wheelers' Club. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  4. Andrews, Guy (1 April 2008). "How did Britain get so good at cycling?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-07-13. As well as bringing in the finest equipment and the best coaches available, British Cycling based everything on one oval track in Manchester, built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
  5. "British pedal power or Queally over-rated?". BBC News. 20 September 2000.
  6. "Cycling Weekly - Manchester Velodrome". Cycling Weekly. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 2016-08-13. Twenty years later it is the beating heart of British Cycling’s ascension to the top of world cycling and the self-styled ‘busiest track in the world’. Multiple world and Olympic champions, a Tour de France winner and world renowned coaching and talent spotting setup can all be traced back to this venue.
  7. Ottewell, David (8 August 2012). "Fast track to glory: How Manchester Velodrome forged Britain's Olympic gold rush". Manchester Evening News. M.E.N. Media. Retrieved 20 June 2015. The council-owned Velodrome, built with £6.5m of government money and £3m from the Sports Council and Foundation for Sport and the Arts, was Britain’s only Olympic-standard indoor track when it opened 18 years ago.
  8. "Officials argue for Velodrome". Scotsman. 30 April 2005. Retrieved 2016-08-13. "Manchester is the busiest velodrome in the world," continued King. "It’s booked solidly from 8am in the morning until 10pm at night, and its effect on the North West of England has been that there are more cycling clubs, more events and, crucially, more participants than in any other region of England.
  9. "Top cyclist's fears over 'white elephant' track". Scotsman. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 2016-08-16. “Manchester is built in the deprived Eastlands area. The track is always full to capacity, used by many local schools and the kids’ club has a waiting list.”
  10. "Commonwealth chiefs want Beckham". BBC News. 7 March 2001. Retrieved 2016-08-16. Too often we think when things are built they will be a white elephant. "But who would have thought the Velodrome in Manchester would have had the effect it has?"
  11. "Cycling: On track for success as Manchester Velodrome helps break the mould". Daily Telegraph. 14 January 2002. Retrieved 2016-08-16. Success, therefore, is all the sweeter when a dome breaks the mould and turns out to be a success. This is what has happened at the Manchester Velodrome, one of the centrepiece venues for this summer's Commonwealth Games.
  12. "Manchester's 'White Elephant' thankfully extinct, says proud cyclist Storey". 7 October 2015. Retrieved 2016-08-16.
  13. "Clause 44 - Glasgow Grand Prix". 8 May 2014. Retrieved 2016-08-16. The development was labelled as the greatest white elephant in Britain by some of the press, but if Manchester velodrome had been a country at the 2012 Olympic games, it would have come seventh in the medal table.
  14. "FaulknerBrownArchitects - Sport". Faulker Brown Architects. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
  15. Taylor, Paul (2 June 2007). "Velodrome on fast track". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
  16. Liggett, Phil (28 October 2000). "Cycling: Boardman ends career in style". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
  17. "Boardman and the banned Superman". BBC Sport. 26 October 2000. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
  18. "Boardman breaks Merckx record". BBC Sport. 27 October 2000. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
  19. Walker, Peter (2 August 2012). "The road to take to be the next Bradley Wiggins or Lizzie Armitstead". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
  20. "£24m BMX Centre Opened". British Cycling. 6 August 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
  21. "Clayton Vale Mountain Bike Trail Consultation". 16 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
Preceded by
Cheras Veledrome
Kuala Lumpur
2002 Commonwealth Games

Succeeded by
Hisense Arena
Preceded by
Velódromo Luis Carlos Galán
UCI Track Cycling World Championships

Succeeded by
Perth SpeedDome
Preceded by
UCI Track Cycling World Championships

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Palma Arena
Palma de Mallorca
UCI Track Cycling World Championships

Succeeded by
BGŻ Arena