If you didn’t catch my preview of the Track World Championships last week on the site, you might not have known the Championships were held at the Lee Valley Velodrome over the course of five days.
The Track Championships are one of the biggest events for track riders, and as it is an Olympic year, the races carried even more significance as precious places for Rio were up for grabs.
I couldn’t wait to go, as I have never been to a track racing event before; and especially the velodrome, which was built for London 2012.
I had tried to get tickets for the events in 2012, but surprisingly I couldn’t get my hands on those precious gems – however, getting tickets to this event was the next big thing.
When I first walked into the velodrome I got the sense that it looks a lot smaller than it does on TV; maybe it was just me – but it certainly felt a lot more enclosed than I thought it was.
But it’s an impressive building, and a fine arena to watch the world’s best track cyclists go at it. In terms of the crowd and their close proximity to the athletes, it reminded me of Selhurst Park, a place that is close to my heart; and if you watched the Olympics in 2012 you would have heard that the noise generated from a fairly small venue was incredible – and if you’re not a GB rider, the cauldron of noise is against you.
And last Saturday that was the case; whenever a GB rider took the track, the noise was unbelievable, sometimes deafening.
After getting accustomed to the noise and general buzz of the place; the racing began – which let’s be honest was the real reason why I was there.
There was plenty of GB interest in the two sessions I was there for; I saw Laura Trott begin her Omnium quest in which she later won on Sunday evening.
I also saw some events of the men’s Omnium where Cavendish was hoping to get on the podium to help his chances of making the Olympics in Rio this summer. But as we know, he finished a disappointing sixth and his selection for Rio hangs in the balance.
Other exciting events we saw, was the qualifying for the women’s sprint and also the men’s sprint in which Kenny was hoping to reclaim the gold and the Rainbow Jersey.
There was some great performances from the GB team; I would say the most exciting was the women’s and men’s sprints, where for the women both Jess Varnish and Katy Marchant both put up valiant efforts in trying to reach the final.
Unfortunately, they both crashed out at the quarter-finals stages and the quarter-finals repechages – but they still provided the crowd with some superb racing.
The ‘golden girl’ of British track cycling got a wonderful reception, and her performance in the opening rounds of the Omnium were testament to the entire buzz which surrounds her.
Overall it was a great experience watching track cycling – I’ll certainly be going again to some events, and to those who haven’t been I encourage you to go, you certainly won’t be disappointed.