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Herne Hill Velodrome
Dennis Talbot and Reg Harris circa 1951
Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia
- H.G. Wells
The Herne Hill Velodrome in Dulwich is currently the only working track in London and is the oldest cycling track in the country. Built in 1891, the track hosted events at the 1948 London Olympics and is one of the last active sites from those games. Since 1903 it has held the Good Friday Meet every Easter (weather pending), which sees riders from far and wide competing in early season races. During the 1920s and 1930s the track accommodated attendances of 10,000 plus.
Herne Hill circa 1897
World Champions have ridden here, including Fausto Coppi. Current star of British road racing, Bradley Wiggins, began racing at the velodrome around the age of 12.
“I remember going there as a kid with my mum and admiring the world champions who used to be invited in their rainbow jerseys: the sprinter Michael Huebner, the six-day racer Danny Clark and the pursuiter Tony Doyle. I used to look up to those guys and hope that one day I would be doing what they were doing.”
Il Campionissimo at Berigliano's 1958 Coppi Meet
The Velodrome was founded by George Hillier, a celebrated amateur track and road racer. He was supported by local clubs, including Dulwich Paragon, and won a bid to have his design created in 1891. Herne Hill Velodrome is a distinctive piece of London’s sporting heritage, a piece of history which is vital to South London cycle clubs and youngsters learning to ride.
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