Cycling has long enjoyed a strong connection to the Melbourne and Olympic Park precinct.
Although prone to flooding in the late 19th Century, the Friendly Societies Gardens (Olympic Park area) featured cycling tracks used by the public. In 1897 the League of Victorian Wheelmen built a banked circular track where AAMI Park now stands. During the 1920's, the cycle track was reconstructed as a steep concrete velodrome known as the Melbourne Motordrome. Apart from the enduring Austral Wheelrace, Sir Hubert Opperman thrilled crowds with remarkable motor-paced world records for distances up to 1000 miles.
A dedicated cycling velodrome was constructed for the 1956 Olympic Games cycling, just next to Olympic Park Stadium where AAMI Park is situated. The velodrome was demolished in 1972.
Since its construction in 2000, Melbourne Arena has been the venue for major cycling events in Melbourne, hosting the World Track Cycling Championships in 2012 and a round of the World Cup. Many guests may not know, but the lower seating section of Melbourne Arena can be raised into the ceiling, revealing a professional velodrome underneath. The Revolution concept also proved a revelation with Madisons, sprints and keirins run throughout the series which consisted of three rounds - The Melbourne Cup On Wheels, The Madison Championships and the historic Austral Wheelrace.
For more information, visit Cycling Victoria.