The prestigious Cycling Legends magazine has chosen 53 places they consider cornerstones in the history of the sport. The long list features the many scenic mountains so important to the Grand Tours of cycling, some hills and cobblestones which serve as pinch points for single-day classics, and also a few velodromes, most of them in Europe.
In fact, only one Latin American place appears on the list, and sadly it’s currently deteriorating: the Agustín Melgar Velodrome in Mexico City. It’s a true monument to cycling speed, looks abandoned, and seems to be in terrible condition.
The Agustín Melgar Velodrome was built specifically to host the cycling competitions of the 1968 Olympics. The track is a seven-meter wide and 333.33-meter long Schurmann design banked at 39 degrees. The bleachers have a 6,400 spectator capacity. The track was originally crafted from doussie alzeiba, an African hardwood surface, but it was renovated to concrete in the 1990s.
But the most important detail of this historic Mexican velodrome is without a doubt the fact that legendary Eddy Merckx set the hour record at 49.431 km in 1972, which remained unbroken for 12 years, one of the most iconic tests of endurance in cycling. Check out photos of this historic landmark in sports history above.