The non-profit Austin Velodrome Project wants to build a $35 million indoor velodrome in Austin, Texas. That's great news for American track cycling and promotion. It may be bad news for cycling in Colorado Springs, the current headquarters for USA Cycling. Gerard Bisceglia, head of USA Cycling, said he would consider a move to Austin should a state-of-the-art VeloDrome be created. "It would be a great opportunity to be (in Austin) as a national cycling center instead of as a tenant at the Olympic Training Center," said Bisceglia. "Our sport is beginning to ascend to the point where we need to have our own home."
There are some downsides to a potential move of the US Olympic team to Austin. In my opinion, the roads around Austin are worse for cycling than the area around Colorado Springs (and I've ridden around both cities). USA Cycling would lose it's proximity to the U.S. Olympic Committee. This article about the proposed velodrome cites the fact that athletes can't benefit from high altitude training, but there is no benefit to high altitude training so that one isn't a valid concern.
The Austin Velodrome Project will probably seek taxpayer financing. This xenophobic blogger will have nothing of that. Ms. Jerri Ward (AKA Sue Bob) writes, "I would hate to see businesses or parks or ballfields that Austin residents have been enjoying for years, swept away to attract outsiders." Ironically, Ms. Ward wrote quite a bit just two weeks ago about her travels to the Big Bend area of Texas, where she is, presumably, an outsider and where the roads and national park facilities were built primarily for the benefit of outsiders such as Ms. Ward. I'm pretty certain my Uncle Robert B. -- who ranches near Marfa -- would consider Ms. Ward an intruder.
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Another high quality velodrome benefits all cyclists who enjoy a healthy sport. LA has hosted a lot of great racing since the new ADT center opened up. Austin would be able to compete with them and then further expand the popularity of track cycling in the country and maybe even give the UCI another reason to think of the US for track events.