Push for velodrome upgrades

Colac Cycling Club’s Darren Allan, right, says the club is hoping for Elliminyt’s velodrome to have an upgrade for the club’s racing season next summer. He is pictured with cycling club members Ricky Taylor and George Stevens.

A Colac cyclist says Elliminyt’s velodrome is posing a risk to competitors and he is pushing to get a new surface by next summer.

Colac Cycling Club life member Darren Allan said the Elliminyt Recreation Reserve velodrome surface was “breaking up” and panels were missing in its fencing, creating hazards for riders.

“We have had chunks of bitumen fall out and we have had to bog it up with car body filler to get us through so we can run our events each year. It’s at the point now where it’s getting too dangerous to ride on,” Mr Allan said.

“The club has been paying, and we can’t keep putting band-aids on band-aids.”

He said the club was continuing to race each week at the facility, which was last resurfaced in the mid-1980s.

“It hasn’t caused any injuries yet, but that’s what we’re trying to avoid,” Mr Allan said.

Colac Otway Shire councillors endorsed a master plan for the Elliminyt Recreation Reserve this month, after sporting groups including the cycling club joined forces to push for $5.2 million of upgrades, including $240,000 for the velodrome.

The approval of the master plan will allow the council and clubs to apply for government funding upgrades.

The council’s infrastructure and leisure general manager Tony McGann told this month’s council meeting there were no current plans to upgrade the velodrome, but officers would prepare a business plan for the 2019-20 financial-year budget.

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