New £5m cycle track’s wheels in motion

new cycle track birds eye view


Starting gun fired on £5m sports facility fit for Olympians

Work has officially started on a £5m University of Leeds sports development that will enhance facilities for cycling and triathlon in the region.

The project for a 1.6km (1 mile) outdoor cycling circuit and refurbished sports pavilion on the University’s Bodington playing fields in North Leeds will provide a traffic-free environment for cycling.

The 6m-wide, Tarmac-surfaced circuit should be ready early next year for University students, staff and the wider community to use for all levels of cycling including recreation, coaching and competition.

The development comes just after some 8,000 people took part in the Leeds Sky Ride earlier this month, with part of the city centre closed to traffic for the two-wheeled enjoyment of all ages.

What’s more, there are just days to go before the Rio 2016 games start. The city’s Olympic competitors, including University of Leeds alumni Alistair and Jonny Brownlee and Gordon Benson, will have access to the new facilities at Bodington.

The pavilion will create a home for British Triathlon’s world-leading Leeds Triathlon Centre, providing strength and conditioning training, physiotherapy and other support services.

The proposals, which are part of the University’s sports and physical activity strategy, have been drawn up in partnership with British Cycling, British Triathlon, UK Sport and Leeds City Council.

Partnership funding from Sport England, British Cycling and UK Sport is contributing £1m to the project, with the remaining funding provided by the University.


Patrick Craig, the University’s Assistant Head of Sport, said:

“This is a success story for cycling in the city and beyond. It will ensure cyclists of all abilities in Yorkshire and across the north of England have some of the best facilities in the UK available close to home.

We’ve already seen how the University’s graduates have dominated top level sports cycling through the Triathlon World Series, an achievement which everyone in Leeds can be proud of. Opening this new track reinforces our vision of becoming the number one provider of higher education sport and physical activity experience in the UK.

I’m also very pleased to say to competitive cyclists anywhere in the region that this circuit is available to them to train on. This is a University of Leeds facility which will be ready and waiting to help our students and graduates and everyone else to use to improve their performance.”

Charles Johnston, Sport England’s Property Director, said:

“Thanks to this new development, British triathletes will have access to the dedicated world-class training and support facilities they need to be the best.

But it’s not all about Olympians. When Sport England invests in facilities, we make sure everyone can benefit, regardless of ability. This centre is no different. I’m looking forward to seeing our top athletes and members of the community all using and enjoying these fantastic facilities for years to come.”

artists impression of cycle track

John Mills, Director of Coaching, Education and Development at British Cycling, said:

“We’re very pleased that the closed road circuit is now a step closer. We look forward to continuing to work with the University of Leeds on this exciting project, which will provide a traffic-free facility for Leeds residents to cycle on for both sport and recreation.”

The Brownlee brothers’ coach, Malcolm Brown MBE, a performance coach at Leeds Triathlon Centre, said:

“Leeds Triathlon Centre will shortly have a home in this exciting new development. We are very grateful to all the key partners who have contributed to enable us to put down roots in the city. We now have a platform for further expansion of the sport.”

Angie Foley, a volunteer at Leeds Mercury Cycling Club, said:

“This is a really exciting time for cycling clubs across Leeds. Our club currently uses a car park for coaching young children, which is a huge barrier for progression, stopping many from cycling beyond the age of around 12. The new purpose-built facility at Bodington will help us to keep young people cycling through their teenage and well into their adult years.”

The improvements complement Sports Park Weetwood nearby, the University’s flagship 100-acre facility used by students and members of the community for hockey, football, rugby, cricket, lacrosse, American football and more.

The Bodington site is currently used for grass sports including football and rugby. These uses will continue after the redevelopment.


Great Britain’s Triathlon Olympic team

  • Five of the six athletes selected for Great Britain’s Triathlon Olympic team train at the Leeds Triathlon Centre, which is a collaboration between the University of Leeds, British Triathlon, and Leeds Beckett University, offering elite training for top triathletes. The new cycling circuit will become part of this centre.
  • University of Leeds graduates claimed every place in the Team GB men’s triathlon squad. They are Jonny Brownlee (BA History 2012), Alistair Brownlee (BSc Sports Science and Physiology 2009) and Gordon Benson, (BSc Nutrition 2016). All three continue to make regular use of training facilities at the University, including the pool at The Edge centre and will use the new circuit.
  • Vicky Holland and Non Stanford, also members of Leeds Triathlon Centre, are two of the three selected for the Olympic women’s triathlon team.



University Hosts Triathlon VIP Dinner

With the announcement that the World Triathlon Series will return to Yorkshire in 2017, Leeds has reinforced its status as one of the global centers for world class triathlon and the University of Leeds continues to be a major influence in the sport locally, nationally and internationally.

This was cemented when dignitaries from across the triathlon world came together at the University of Leeds for a reception jointly hosted by Vice Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands and the Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Judith Blake. Guests in attendance included the ITU Executive Board, British Triathlon and senior members of staff from across the University and the city of Leeds. Sir Alan spoke passionately about how important triathlon is to the University and the city, reinforcing our commitment to supporting the development of sport on the world stage.

artists impression of cycle track

This comes at a time when the University awaits planning permission for a £4.7m cycle track and triathlon performance centre development at The University of Leeds. The new development will be home to the Leeds Triathlon Centre and 5 of the athletes who have been selected to represent Great Britain at the Rio Olympics this summer.

“The Leeds Triathlon Centre will shortly have a home in this exciting new facility development. We are very grateful to all the key partners who have contributed to enable us to put down roots in the city. We now have a platform for further expansion of the sport”

Malcolm Brown, Performance Coach Leeds Triathlon Centre

UK Sport and British Cycling have joined the University of Leeds to fund the exciting new project, strengthening the partnership between the organisations and the University.

“We are delighted to be able to add this new cycle track and sports pavilion to our growing portfolio of top class sport facilities. To be able to do this is partnership with world leading sports bodies including British Cycling, British Triathlon, UK Sport and Sport England reinforces our vision of becoming the number one provider of higher education sport and physical activity experience in the UK and demonstrates our desire to support the development of sport on the world stage”

Patrick Craig, Assistant Head of Sport

Find out more about triathlon at the University of Leeds on our triathlon webpage.


Toby Roland-Jones called up for England Vs Pakistan

University of Leeds alumni and past Leeds Bradford MCCU player, Toby Roland-Jones, has earned his first call-up for the England Cricket Squad.

Middlesex pace bowler Roland-Jones, has taken 30 wickets in the County Championship this season but will vie with fellow uncapped bowler Jake Ball for a place in the final XI.

“Toby Roland-Jones has been a consistent performer in the County Championship over the last few years and deserves his chance,”

National selector James Whitaker

If successful, Toby will take the place of James Anderson, who unfortunately injured his shoulder in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka and was not deemed fit enough for consideration.

The full England squad for first Test against Pakistan is as follows: Cook (c), Hales, Root, Vince, Ballance, Bairstow (wk), Moeen, Woakes, Broad, Finn, Ball, Roland-Jones.