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As Boulder velodrome closes, another is built
ERIE - As Boulder Indoor Cycling's velodrome met its demise this week, a bigger cycling track continued its slow rise from a patch of ground 12 miles to the east.
Workers at the site of the Boulder Valley Velodrome, a 250-meter outdoor track under construction in Erie, poured concrete Thursday in the shape of a giant oval. And already, the attention of the track cycling community - both amateur and professional - has shifted away from Boulder to the intersection of County Line Road and Bonnell Avenue.
"There couldn't be a better time," said Cari Higgins, a professional track cyclist from Boulder who is on the long list to compete at the London Olympics this summer. "There's a lot of momentum for track cycling in the area."
But there aren't a lot of places around to practice the sport. With Monday's announced closure of Boulder Indoor Cycling, the state's only operational velodrome now is in Colorado Springs. The next closest facility is about 1,000 miles away, said Colby Pearce, a cycling coach in Boulder and a 2004 Olympic track cycling competitor.
"We're in a kind of velodrome wasteland," Pearce said. "Boulder Valley Velodrome is not just going to draw people locally, it will attract national and international racers."
Ingrid Alongi, a masters elite-level track cyclist who has won three national masters titles in the sport, said while she loved riding and coaching on the 142-meter track at Boulder Indoor Cycling, it was simply too small and narrow to provide an authentic experience.