Work begins on "world's fastest" Velodrome

Chris Hoy of Britain celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's sprint track cycling race at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in this August 19, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - Work has begun on the London 2012 Velodrome which organisers hope will provide the world’s fastest cycling track thanks to collaboration with triple Beijing Olympic champion Chris Hoy.

“Today we’ve witnessed the start of construction of what, with the help of Sir Chris Hoy who helped design the Velodrome, we hope will be the fastest track in the world for London 2012,” said Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell in a statement.

The 6,000-seat Velodrome is the third sports venue on the Olympic Park to begin construction, following the main stadium and Aquatics Centre.

Initially estimated to cost 20 million pounds in 2004, the Velodrome is now expected to cost 105 million pounds -- up 25 million pounds on the last estimate in July 2008.

Britain enjoyed great success in track cycling at the Beijing Olympics last year, winning seven golds.

The Velodrome is a permanent facility in the Park, and will include the Olympic BMX circuit.

After the Games, a road cycle circuit and mountain bike course will be added.

“The start of construction work is a significant milestone in our plans to create a world-class cycling venue with a record-breaking track for events in 2012 and the legacy of first-class facilities to help create the next generation of Olympic champions,” said John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, responsible for the Games build.