THE stunning new Velodrome, named after Sir Chris Hoy, will house the UCI World Cup in November over a century after 20,000 fans descended on Celtic Park.THE shiny new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome will host its first world-class event next month.
But these amazing photographs show that it won’t be the first time that Glasgow has enjoyed a track cycling boom.
It seems to be a well-kept secret, but we can reveal that Celtic Park once drew the punters in their thousands to watch cycle racing.
Just 100 yards from the velodrome built for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the home of Celtic Football Club hosted the 1897 World Cycling Championships.
More than 20,000 adoring fans flocked to the stadium in the city’s east end to watch the sporting heroes of the day in full flight.
And those scenes will be echoed 115 years later, when the cycling stars of today compete in the UCI World Cup event at the new velodrome from November 16 to 18.
Scotland’s six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy yesterday said he hopes the event – one of the top meetings of the cycling year – will help reinvigorate Glaswegians’ deep-rooted love for the sport.
And while he won’t be competing, he will be there to make sure the 4500 capacity crowd are buzzing.
Chris Cameron outside the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, with a framed print of Celtic park, when it was used for the World cycling championships
Chris Cameron, who handles the many artefacts from Celtic’s 124-year history, said: “It seems to be a little-known fact that Celtic Park was the scene of some major cycling events.
“Our photos show thousands of people flocked along to see the 1897 World Championships.”
The blue riband event in 1897 – the 10-mile race – was won by a Dubliner named O’Neill, who won £300 for his efforts.
Chris said cycling meetings were a way of increasing revenue at the club – and although many football grounds had cycling tracks, Celtic Park’s was made from cement rather than cinder.
The outline of the track could be seen up until the redevelopments in the 1990s.
Chris added: “After the world championships, cycling continued to thrive and we could attract up to 20,000 for meetings in years running up to World War I.
“It seems fitting that world-class cycling is coming back to the east end after all this time.”
The 4500 tickets for next month’s UCI World Cup event sold out in record time.
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