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Velodromo Vigorelli is a 397-metre wood semi-covered velodrome in Milan, Italy. It is currently used mostly for football events. The stadium holds 9,000 people and was built in 1935 by Vigorelli Cycles. It was burned down during the second world war after bombing of Milan by the RAF but then rebuilt.
The stadium was home to the hour record from 1935 to 1967 and the one-hour tandem record of Ernest Mills and Bill Paul from 1937 to 2000. It hosted the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 1939, 1951, 1955 and 1962. After years of neglect and planned demolitions, campaigning by local enthusiasts led to the approval by local authorities in March 2014 of plans to renovate the velodrome.
The stadium has also hosted music events, including the Beatles' concert on June 24, 1965. It was the site of a concert by English rock band Led Zeppelin which took place during the band's 1971 European tour, well known for its descent into a violent riot between concert attendees and the local police.
Men's Hour Record
The hour record for bicycles is the record for the longest distance cycled in one hour. From 1935 - 1967 it was set exclusively at the Velodromo Vigorelli by nine different cyclists in 10 rides.
In 1935 Giuseppe Olmo took the record by covering 45 kilometres, exceeding the distance set at Sint-Truiden in Belgium by 313 metres. He established the track's reputation as fastest in the world. From 1936 Maurice Richard; Frans Slaats; Maurice Archambaud; François Faure; Fausto Coppi; Jacques Anquetil; Ercole Baldini and Roger Rivière added a further 2,257 metres to the record, until the Olympic track in Rome became faster.
Tandem One Hour record
In 1937 Mills and Paul set the tandem record at 49.991 km. The trip had been funded by readers of Cycling. This record stood until on September 23, 2000 at Manchester velodrome it was beaten by Simon Keeton and Jon Rickard of Rutland Cycling Club.
Women's Hour Record
Elsy Jacobs broke the women's record at Vigorelli on 9 September 1958, riding a distance of 41,347 km. The record stood for 14 years.
- The Bicycle, 6 November 1946, p13
- Williams, Richard (21 March 2014). "Historic Vigorelli velodrome rescued by volunteers who fought off inertia". theguardian.com. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
- Led Zeppelin Interview 1971
- Led Zeppelin official website: concert summary
- Chris Welch (1994) Led Zeppelin, London: Orion Books. ISBN 1-85797-930-3, p. 63.
- Bike Magic, British World record holder dies, Bill Paul, holder of the tandem record for over 60 years passed away on Wednesday. Posted: 30 January 2003 by Marco Framboli
- BBC, October 2, 1998 — Bill Paul plans new attempt on record
- Manchester Velodrome, Records, 1 hour Tandem
- National Cycle Centre, Records - 1 hour Tandem
- 1937 & all that. Addiscombe Tandem World Hour Record, The Second Fastest Tandem in the World, Ernie Mills & Bill Paul, Addiscombe CC