Welcome to the Velodrome: Competitive Bike Racing Sets Sights on Sacramento

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Velodrome, what basically is NASCAR for bikers, could be headed to Sacramento.

Currently, there are just a few Velodromes on the west coast: Ones in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and San Jose. Now it looks like cyclists will soon be able to race in their back yard.

The Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association just got the green light to move forward in its negotiations for a new race track – one that’s expected to become the new crown jewel of Granite Regional Park.

Currently, competitive cyclists must travel out of town to race. But, a new $2.5 million Velodrome at Granite Regional Park next to the skate park could change all of that.

“Our track will be outdoors but it’s hum it’s a round oval banked 250 meter track. It’s, you know, about the size of a football stadium,” said Dean Alleger, CEO & Executive Director of the Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association

A velodrome event is known to draw at least three to five hundred mountain bikers on a weeknight.

“Velodrome racing is popular because the races are short, they’re fast and really intense,” said Alleger.

But, bikers who currently frequent the park had mixed emotions about the newly-proposed Velodrome.

“More people ride this than track bikes, I don’t know anybody that rides track bikes,” said Chris Alexander.

His brother Tarren agreed.

“From my point of view, I don’t know how many people will be coming because I see a lot of people riding free-style now. So I kind of see that $2 million you said they should build something a lot better,” said Alexander.

But some people were excited and willing to embrace the new concept in Sacramento.

“It sounds like something new and interesting. I ride my road bike, so I do all aspects of biking,” said cyclist William Bardin.

The Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association says they will be building this track on their own and they have no plans to ask for public money to build it. They hope to have the new Velodrome completed by 2015.

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