What we learned from the London Track World Cup

Who better to show you around the new London Velodrome than cycling addict Sir Paul Smith?

  • Percy Pigs are the food of champions

Lizzie Armitstead ate no less that five of them, doesn’t seem to do her any harm. I ate three bags and don’t seem to have suffered either.

  • If you put in a curved, panelled wood roof on a wooden track, it makes for really good reverb and amplification

The noise was deafening whenever a GB rider was on the track. Not just loud in volume, but that roaring noise that hits you physically. Even when it was only about a quarter full as everyone streamed out on Sunday night, the applause during the medal ceremonies was still loud.

  • Sir Chris Hoy is an Olympian like no other

Whether it’s hitting 78.4km/h in the Keirin to ride round three riders inside him, or leading by example, he is a Colossus of a man. Physically he may not bulge like the German sprinters but for sheer presence he outmuscles everyone.

  • When the shut the doors, the heat is unbearable

It’s meant to sit at around 28 degrees Celsius, but apparently can hit 31-32. You don’t need a jumper to sit in the stands. I was almost giddy with the heat at times. Well, that and the massive buzz of excitement.

  • If the Omnium finished with a bunch race it would be completely compelling

Watch Laura Trott defying the odds on Saturday night and then think how cool it would be if the event climaxed with what is essentially last man standing.

  • GB’s man one crisis in the team sprint is simple: stick Jason Kenny at one

Jamie Staff clearly thinks Kenny is quickest, the mutterings are that he can go faster than Edgar at man one. In qualifying, there was about 0.3 seconds across the top four. If Kenny at one closes that gap, GB are back on Gold standard at two and three.



  • Someone needs to have a word with whoever is running the PA system

Too much compression means everything comes out loud, so the music bleeds into the commentary and nobody can hear either properly. Reduce the compression, bring back in a bit of dynamic range and there will be natural separation of the two.

It’s a “wet” room naturally so there’s very little need for so much sloppy reverb like you would need in another venue.

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  • The PA system was pretty bad – we were there on the Thursday and sitting at one end really couldn’t understand much at all.  In the Aquatic Centre a week later the problem was the same – loads of explanation of how the events worked at the start of the session was completely unintelligible.