Olympic Games

Goodbye to the Velodrome: The fans who were there

Two British cycling fans – Jamie Horn and John Forbes – were mesmerised by the last day of the London 2012 track cycling programme.

Goodbye to Velodrome - Olympic GamesEurosport

Jamie Horn, a quantity surveyor from Portsmouth, came to London on Tuesday to watch the final day of action in the Velodrome – and was rewarded with a record-breaking performance from Team GB's greatest ever Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy.

What did you see and where did you watch it?

We went to see the final session in the Velodrome on Tuesday. Sir Chris Hoy in the Kierin, Victoria Pendleton in the women's Sprint and Laura Trott in the Women's Omnium.

How was the build up?

The build up was manic to be honest as my friend Phil only sent me a text me on Saturday evening to say he had two tickets for the velodrome on Tuesday and ask if I wanted one. Needless to say I said yes. Probably more expletives used on my part though! There are not enough superlatives to describe how I was feeling from Saturday to Tuesday.

How was your journey and getting into the venue?

The journey in was good. First we stopped into Hyde Park to watch the Brownlee brothers in the Triathlon so that was good fun as well. Getting in to the Olympic Park was fine and I have to say, it was stangely reassuring to have the armed forces at security.

Where was your seat and how was the view?

Amazing. As I said we only got the tickets on Saturday and whilst they were quite expensive, they were totally worth it. We were sat in the front row on the first bank of the track. The little things that we noticed made my day such as being able to feel the rumble of the riders zipping past and then to feel the air turbulance in their wake. It was absolutely incredible to be so close to the action.

What kind of fans were in the crowd and how was the atmosphere?

The atmosphere was electric. The term is often overused for sporting events, but I think everybody who was in there appreciated that they were extraordinarily lucky to be witnessing something as incredible as this. It will be a moment that I am sure a lot more than the six thousand inside will say they were at in years to come. The fans were cracking, ranging from cycling fans dressed in full kit with cow bells and horns right through to families with small children.

What was the highlight?

The whole session was incredible, but I think the highlight for me was Sir Chris Hoy in the Kierin final. That last lap had every emotion crammed into its few short seconds and for me will never be beaten as a sporting event that I am lucky enough to witness.

How will you remember the event?

Quite simply as the most incredible moment in sporting history. It left me utterly speechless and desperate to see more top level Velodrome action.

Another happy fan at the Velodrome was John Forbes, a partner in a real estate investment management company in London, who managed to see Team GB win five golds in total this August. John, who attended the cycling at Beijing 2008 with his family, said London 2012 surpassed all expectations for the swashbucking host nation.

What did you see and where did you watch it?

Having convinced ourselves that we were not going to get any tickets in the ballot, we bought ourselves corporate hospitality tickets for the final evening's racing. As it happens, we also managed to get tickets for the whole family for the Friday night through the third round of the ballot so we saw five golds for team GB. We had also been on the circuit for both the men's and women's road race and the time trials. We watched the other Velodrome sessions at the cycling cafe Look Mum No Hands, so altogether it was a fabulous week and a half of cycling!

How was the build up? How was your journey and getting into the venue?

Getting to the venue was easy – it's all well sign-posted and easy to follow.

Where was your seat and how was the view?

We had seats on the back-straight near the front on both visits. Great view and some fantastic photos.

What kind of fans were in the crowd and how was the atmosphere?

Although the crowd was overwhelmingly British, we did have some boisterous Aussies behind us who were very enthusiastic about Anna Meares (the women's sprint gold medallist). The atmosphere was absolutely out of this world. We were lucky enough to have been able to go to Beijing in 2008 and I thought that the success there would never be replicated. But the Team GB performance outdid that in Beijing – and the wall of noise in London had to be heard to be believed.

What was the highlight?

It's very difficult to pick a highlight – there were many, many great moments on both visits. Having seen Laura Trott racing in the DHL Future Stars in Manchester, it was fantastic to see her come through and reach her true potential. Chris Hoy's ride in the Kierin when he came back at Maximlian Levy was spectacular. Although Vicky lost, the Pendleton / Meares sprint final was a great end to her career. It is a pity that the commissaire deprived us of a third and final sprint.

How will you remember the event?

There are so many great things to remember. Chris Hoy's parents and Anna Meares' were both in Beijing supporting passionately in 2008 and it was great to see them still as flag-wavingly enthusiastic in 2012.

Do not miss
  • TV guide

    Find detailed TV schedules for all Eurosport channel.

  • Mobile Applications

    Find all the sports news on iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and iPad.

  • Breaking News

    Follow up to the minute sports reports with Eurosport.

Follow Eurosport.com
On Facebook
On Twitter
On Mobile
EurosportCopyright 2014
Eurosport.com is available in other languages