Hillingdon Cycle Circuit
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2013)|
Hillingdon Cycle Circuit is a purpose-built road cycling circuit situated in Minet Country Park, Hayes in West London. The 0.93 mile long, 6 metre wide circuit is used for year-round racing, training and leisure riding.
Chas Messenger, the local British Cycling Facilities Officer, organised cycle racing on the unopened Hayes Bypass for several years in the 1990s. Triple Olympic champion and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins started his racing career on this prototype circuit as a schoolboy.
Once the bypass opened to traffic, Messenger and Bill Bannister began searching for another closed road circuit in the area. After some abortive suggestions had been investigated, Minet Park emerged as a possible solution. What is now the park had been used to dump waste earth from the construction of the bypass. The area was, however, zoned for sports activities and community use.
The circuit was designed by Don Wiseman as a fast, easy to ride course: it is possible to pedal all the way round the circuit's corners. The circuit opened to riders in 1997.
The early circuit headquarters were temporary huts. There are now permanent storage facilities (part funded by the Kenton Road Club) and in 2010 a clubhouse was opened beside the track with meeting and catering facilities and a classroom.
Barker suggested to local cycling coaches Brian Wright and Ray Kelly that a children's club be started. The Prime Coaching organisation, together with others and the parents of the children created and developed the Hillingdon Slipstreamers. The group still meet at the circuit every Saturday morning. Bradley Wiggins is now the Slipstreamers' president.
The circuit is used regularly for racing and hosts an annual round of the national circuit race championship. There is a regular Winter series running from December to February. During the season there are races on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and most weekends.
There are formal and informal training sessions three or four days per week.
A women only leisure cycling group meet at the circuit on Friday afternoons.
Duathlon events are run on the circuit on selected Mondays from April to August.