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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Cycling and the United States Olympic Committee have teamed up to give track cyclists year-round, on-the-track training opportunities in Colorado Springs with the addition of a seasonal dome on the open-air 7-Eleven Velodrome located in Memorial Park. The dome will be put in place for the first time in early 2015.
“With the quickly approaching 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, we are seeking every advantage to adequately prepare our athletes to compete with the best in the world,” said USA Cycling CEO and president Steve Johnson. “However, this significant upgrade of the velodrome in Colorado Springs will not only provide the optimal setting for our track cyclists to live and train throughout the year in the run-up to Rio, but also represents a significant investment in American track cycling that will benefit our growing track community well into the future.”
Up until now, track cyclists living at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center were forced to seek alternative training sites during the winter months. The covered velodrome will allow them 12 months of uninterrupted training while utilizing the center’s state-of-the-art athlete facilities.
The dome will be removed during the warmer summer months, but the shelter it provides during the winter will save an estimated $10,000 on annual repair work.
With year-round usage, the USOC will be able to add an additional 400 hours of community programs, on top of the 600 hours that are already offered. These will include the “learn to ride the velodrome” program, community training, and community races.
“We are excited to be adding a seasonal dome, which will allow our athletes to stay and train in Colorado Springs year-round where they will also have access to other important resources such as nutrition, strength training, and sport performance services at the OTC,” said Aron McGuire, director of the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center. “This upgrade is a win-win, not only for our elite athletes but also for local riders and the greater Colorado Springs community.”
The 333.3-meter cement banked track was built in 1982 to provide high-altitude training for American cyclists leading up to the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. In 1986, the velodrome and Colorado Springs hosted the world championships with huge crowds filling the stands each night during the weeklong event. Since then, the velodrome has played host to dozens of international competitions for both track cycling and roller sport.