Detroit’s soon-to-be velodrome chosen for national meet

Louis Aguilar
The Detroit News

Detroit’s soon-to-be velodrome and indoor sports complex will mark its debut by hosting a national cycling championship this fall.

On Tuesday, the group behind the new development said the site has been selected to host the 2017 U.S. Cycling Madison National Championships on Oct. 19-21. The event will include women and men competitions and coincide with the opening of the facility on Mack and the I-75 service drive in Midtown.

“This is our kickoff event for the new facility,” said Dales Hughes, the developer of the project, and is expected to draw around 50 teams from around the nation.

Hughes, who also serves as executive director of the Detroit Fitness Foundation, will lead the development of the design and building of the the Detroit velodrome. Construction is expected to begin next week, Hughes said.

A lifetime Metro Detroiter, Hughes has designed and built more than 20 bike racing tracks worldwide, including the 1996 Olympic Velodrome in Atlanta and the 2015 Pan Am Games Velodrome in Toronto.

Detroit’s Tolan Playfield has an Olympic heritage. The park was renamed in 1968 to honor Thomas Edward Tolan, a Cass Tech graduate and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist who was the first African-American man deemed the “World’s Fastest Human.”

USA Cycling is the governing body for Velodrome Track Cycling races in the United States. It is affiliated with the United States Olympic Committee and Union Cyclist International.

Twitter: @LouisAguilar_DN