THE Newport Velodrome received an Olympic boost this summer when the London Games spurred 20,000 people on to use its track.

Since April this year, 20,671 cyclists have got on their bikes compared with 21,450 in the whole of 2011/12 – which means this year’s visitor figures could be a new record.

The velodrome played a key role in the run-up to the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, as the final training camp for British cyclists who went on to become stars of the Games.

Over the summer Newport Council said there was a huge surge of enquiries. All beginner and improvement courses are fully booked until the New Year.

Cllr Debbie Wilcox, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “The increased interest in cycling is definitely a result of the ‘Olympic effect’ and it is wonderful that even more people are discovering the Velodrome.

“Its world-class facilities were certainly appreciated by the Olympic and Paralympic athletes, who spoke highly of their time at the training camps.

“However, the Velodrome can be used by anyone, fromelite athletes to absolute beginners and that is what makes it so special.”

The Velodrome is located in the Newport International Sports Village, also home to Newport Tennis Centre, Newport Stadium and the new 3G pitch.