The UCI and World Cycling Centre (WCC) flagship project for 2014 is slowly taking shape. During the holiday season at the end of the year, at a location near the Alps and Dents du Midi mountains, it would be natural to expect the frost and snow to paralyse the 10,000 m2 construction site. But even though the mechanical diggers are no longer at work, the new BMX track is on schedule. In December, some 25 centimetres of topsoil was removed and replaced with a mixture of gravel and aggregate in order to stabilise the surface. Drainage work was carried out to prevent the build up of groundwater and electricity cables were also laid. Some more work will be undertaken before the beginning of spring but for most of the time the site on the banks of the RhÃ´ne will remain undisturbed to allow the foundation layer to settle.
The second phase of the project, laying the track, will start in early March. This will involve constructing two ramps of five and eight metres (the previous track had a single eight-metre ramp), forming the track and jumps and installing lighting. Six floodlight masts will be installed, giving the track the atmosphere of a football stadium. The track will feature bends that replicate the design of the Rio 2016 venue. The objective at the WCC is to recreate the conditions that riders competing at the Olympic Games in Brazil will encounter. When construction on the track recommences, some 6 labourers and two or three diggers will be at work. Much of the preparation has to be conducted manually (shaping jumps using shovels).
Enticing the National Federations
The last shovel of dirt will be thrown at the WCCâ€™s new jewel in the crown at the start of May. An opening ceremony is scheduled for this major WCC project, with the centre now in its 12th year. The project bears witness to the excellent relations between the UCI, WCC and the local authorities. Once this state-of-the-art facility is in operation, the WCC is confident that an increasing number of National Federations will send their most promising athletes for training.Â