London 2012: Bradley Wiggins called upon to help restore Herne Hill velodrome to former glory

 

Bradley Wiggins has been asked to race at the velodrome where he learned his sport in a bid to encourage fundraising for renovation.

The Tour de France hero is being invited to race again at Herne Hill velodrome and inspire a fundraising drive. Wiggins, 32, began his career aged 12 training at the venue, the only one from the 1948 London Games still in use.

But its future is uncertain, with millions of pounds needed to renovate crumbling facilities. Now fundraisers have approached cycling chiefs to land a high-profile appearance by Wiggins, who will today aim to become Britain’s single most decorated Olympian by winning his seventh medal in four Games.

A spokeswoman for Herne Hill Charitable Trust said: “We have spoken to British Cycling about having Bradley later in the year, but obviously he’s got a very busy schedule. Hopefully we’ll be able to work something out.

“Bradley is part of the history of Herne Hill, and if he can come it would be to reflect that — not just to have his picture taken. It would be an event he could possibly take part in.”

The 120-year-old venue is in disrepair — its crumbling pavilion has been condemned — and it has been subject to wrangles over leases.

The track was resurfaced last year and £400,000 will be spent on facilities including lighting and an inner track for junior racers. The charity is trying to raise between £2 million and £3 million to build a new stand.

Roger St Pierre, who raced at Herne Hill for more than two decades, said: “This is the golden age in British cycling. It would be great if we could have a three-way track meeting between Bradley, Mark Cavendish and Chris Hoy.

“Sales of bikes are going through the roof. What we don’t want to do is let something like Herne Hill go to waste.” Peter Cattermole, chairman of Velo Club de Londres, which manages the velodrome, said: “It’s a question of dealing with agents, but the likes of Bradley, Laura Trott and Chris Hoy would be very welcome — they inspire the kids, which is great.”

Wiggins’s preparations for the time trial have been upset by a thief who stole his GB kit. “The most famous Lycra in sport” vanished from the locker room at the Foxhills spa resort in Ottershaw, Surrey, where the GB team are based.

Wiggins, from Kilburn, tweeted: “Watch your kit at the Foxhills Spa in Surrey, there is a tea leaf about.”

Foxhills said it was investigating using CCTV.

The 44km time trial starts at 2.15pm at Hampton Court Palace. Wiggins already has six Olympic medals — three golds, one silver and two bronzes — and a podium place would put him above Sir Steve Redgrave as Britain’s most decorated Olympian. One of his main rivals will be compatriot Chris Froome.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific