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Ground-breaking ceremony for Velodrome Suisse

10. mai 2012

Today's ground-breaking ceremony for the Velodrome Suisse marks a historic day for Swiss cycling. The velodrome in Central Switzerland will be opened for training and competition in the spring of 2013.
Just five months after the kick-off event for the Velodrome Suisse, the first sod has now been turned for the start of construction. "It is immensely satisfying," said Andy Rihs, the ideas man behind the project. "Our well-known stars and our up-and-coming hopes for the future will already be training here around this time next year. With the aid of the municipality of Grenchen, Swiss Cycling and private initiatives, we have been able to realize a vision," said the Swiss entrepreneur enthusiastically. The construction of the Velodrome Suisse means ideal training conditions for Swiss cycling, so that more medals are guaranteed at major international events. "The best school for cyclists is on the track," says Andy Rihs with conviction.
Image factor for the region
"The velodrome is an image factor of international significance," stressed Boris Banga, Mayor of Grenchen und member of the Board of Trustees of Velodrome Suisse. Not only national championships but also world championships could be held here one day. Grenchen will become a cycling competence center, and train a new generation in Swiss competitive cycling. "Today is a day of celebration for Swiss cycling. We are well positioned with regard to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro with this modern training facility," added Jürg Schild, President of Swiss Olympics.
Other sports, from gymnastics to sport for vocational training schools, will also benefit, underlined Canton Councilor Peter Gomm. There are also synergies with the soccer and athletics stadium. As a result of the restaurant, the kiosk, the sports shops and the accommodation and conference facilities, this multi-purpose hall is also an important economic factor for the region.
Modern financing
The project, with a budget of 15 million francs, will be made possible by means of fund-raising by donors and subscribers. President of the Board of Trustees Andy Rihs has guaranteed two million francs. A similar contribution has been made by the Swiss Federation, sports funding from the canton of Solothurn and the municipality of Grenchen. The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by numerous friends of competitive cycling, including Swiss track cycling stars Franco Marvulli, Urs Freuler and Tony Rominger.
Caption: The initiators of the Velodrome Suisse at the ground-breaking ceremony.
Photo: Fabian Flury