THE Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) has begun to dream of a velodrome in each state, with an international Class I facility set to be built in Cheras by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall.The national body's dream will depend on how the Sports Ministry view its advice to call off the long held plans to construct a world class velodrome in Nilai, funded by the government.
"Since there is already going to be a Class I velodrome in Kuala Lumpur, having two such facilities within a short distance of each other is not feasible," said MNCF deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad yesterday.
According to Naim, DBKL has confirmed plans to build a new indoor velodrome with a 250-metre timber track near the Kuala Lumpur Aquatic Complex, about a kilometre away from the current Kuala Lumpur Velodrome.
The land where the Kuala Lumpur Velodrome, which is an outdoor facility with a 333.333m concrete track, is on prime land with developers already interested in replacing it with a commercial complex.
It is understood that DBKL has allocated a budget of RM40 million for the construction of the new facility, which will easily be covered by the sale of the land where the current facility sits.
"A budget of RM120 million has already been allocated by the government for the construction of the indoor velodrome in Nilai," said Naim.
"We proposed to the Sports Ministry to synergise with the DBKL on this plan, whereby part of that budget can go towards improving its existing plan for the indoor velodrome in Cheras.
"The rest of the budget can go towards constructing simple concrete velodromes in every state, as in all honesty, all we need is just one Class I velodrome in the country where we can hold international events.
"Having simple velodromes, which can be constructed at a much lower cost in each state, will be a more significant addition as that will help more in our effort to develop track cycling."
The Kuala Lumpur Velodrome, constructed in 1989 to host the Sea Games, is the only functional velodrome in the country with Velodrom Rakyat in Ipoh again left in a state of disuse with its outdoor timber track in need of repairs.