Secret venue in Telford 'delighted' at BMX Olympic success

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Media caption,

Watch the 360 backflip that helped Worthington to BMX gold

A venue used in secret as a training track by two BMX Olympians says it is "delighted to have played a small part" in GB's Tokyo 2020 medal success.

The site at Telford International Centre (TIC) was where gold medallist Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks, who won bronze, trained.

British Cycling said the freestyle park had been dismantled and it was in the process of finding its long-term home.

It would not comment further on where the location for it may be.

According to a joint statement from British Cycling and TIC, the Telford venue had been the "perfect space" because of it having "a dedicated entrance for the BMX freestyle team, excellent levels of privacy and security" and due to its central UK location.

Local council leader Shaun Davies echoed this and said he was "delighted" the town had played a pivotal role in the preparation for the Games.

"I have written to British Cycling to understand their longer-term plans for the track," he added.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Charlotte Worthington won gold at the games, where she became the first woman to land a 360 back-flip

Shaun Scarfe, from Four One Four Skateparks, was part of the team who built the replica track.

Speaking to BBC Radio Shropshire, he said: "As soon as we found out what the layout was going to be... at Tokyo, we got designs done quickly and [got] our team of 18 guys to go in there and in four weeks make a full replica of the Tokyo course.

"It's a good challenge. Something like that you'd normally take eight to 10 weeks to build, so we just did it in half the time... but everybody wanted to see the guys do well... it's a really fun project."

He said the team had been building ramps for many years and just from seeing "loose designs", they had been able to "scale it all up".

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks show off their medals as they arrive back in the UK

Mr Scarfe said the Olympians would have had about five weeks to train on the track so they could "really knuckle down and perfect" routines.

Asked what was happening next with the track, he said it had all been taken down and had gone into storage.

"We're not exactly sure where yet. British Cycling is sorting that out and [it] is likely perhaps to be at the home of British Cycling in Manchester on their own space, which would be great because then we'll be able to use that course."

British Cycling has not commented further on where the replica track might end up.

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