Glasgow & West Scotland

Sir Chris Hoy makes first ride in new Glasgow velodrome

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Media captionInterview - Sir Chris Hoy

Britain's greatest Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy, has become the first cyclist to ride in the new Glasgow velodrome which bears his name.

The six-times Olympic gold medal winner took a bike round the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome on Tuesday.

The venue, in the city's east end, and the neighbouring National Indoor Sports Arena, will be among the main venues for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Both venues, known as the Emirates Arena, will be opened on Friday.

Speaking after his ride, Sir Chris said: "It was a very special feeling to ride the track for the first time today. To have this velodrome named after me is a huge honour and something that I am very proud of.

'Very special'

"I have been fortunate to ride in the world's best velodromes and I can tell that this venue is going to be very special.

"It has a fantastic design and feels like it's going to be very fast."

Sir Chris added: "This velodrome will make such a difference to cycling in Scotland.

"It will be the new home of cycling in this country and will hopefully help to inspire the next generation of cyclists."

Work started on the velodrome, which Sir Chris helped design, more than two years ago, under the guidance of renowned architect Ralf Schuermann.

The track, made of Siberian pine, will host the cycling and para cycling events at the 2014 games, and a round of cycling's World Cup in November.

Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg said: "Sir Chris Hoy is a marvellous ambassador for sport and for Glasgow 2014.

"It is an honour to see him become the first person to cycle in this wonderful velodrome today, which is aptly named after him as Britain's greatest Olympian.

"Track cycling provided some of the great and memorable dramas of London 2012 and there's no doubt that this velodrome will create a fantastic setting for records to be broken and medals to be won as part of an outstanding Commonwealth Games."

The Emirates branding, which was announced last week in a £5m deal between Emirates Airlines and Glasgow City Council, will not apply during the games.

All venues are handed over "clean" to the organisers - unless an agreement has been reached as part of a sponsorship deal.

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