Plans to build a new velodrome in the country are gaining support from the International Cycling Union (UCI).
Philippine Olympic Committee president and Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said this after returning recently from a meeting of the Asian Cycling Confederation Congress in Bali, Indonesia.
While in Indonesia, Tolentino talked to UCI president David Lappartient and other top UCI officials about the construction of a modern velodrome while in Bali.
The one being planned in the Philippines can be built in either Tagaytay City or New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.
The budget of building a new one could reach a staggering P1.5 billion.
The UCI will provide the design of the velodrome so that it will surely be up to world-class standards.
“They (UCI) will help with technical matters and supplies. For instance, the wood used, is Siberian wood,” added Tolentino.
“The velodrome in the Philippines is more than 50 years old. Obsolete na siya,” said Tolentino, who is also the mayor of Tagaytay City, in an interview with the Manila Standard during a meeting of the Athletes’ Commission at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.
Because of this, preparing and training national athletes at the Amoranto Sports Complex in Quezon City are no longer advisable. That’s because condition of the 5.8-hectare facility for more than 10 years, is no longer up to international standards.
Tolentino explained that the standard length of a velodrome now stands at 250 meters and no longer 350 meters, which is the size of the Amoranto facility.
The last time that the velodrome was seriously used for competition was back in the 2013, when the POC-PSC Philippine National Games were held.
The complex, which was inaugurated in 1966 by then President Ferdinand Marcos, was used back in 2005 as one of the venues for the Southeast Asian Games.
It was last used seven years ago, when national cyclists were still quartered inside the sports complex, but rarely got a chance to practice in the steeply banked oval tracks.
Track cycling in the Olympics features five events—team sprint, keirin, sprint, team pursuit and omnium—which offer a combined 10 gold medals both for men and women.
The 57-year-old velodrome inside the Amoranto Sports Complex in Quezon City is the only venue in the country where track cyclists can hone their racing skills at the moment.
Last year, the Quezon City government began work on the renovation and construction of new facilities at the Complex.