Avantidrome on a roll

18:52, Mar 16 2014

It's the only venue in Waikato where cowbells might not be appreciated, but that hasn't stopped large crowds from turning out for the track nationals at the Avantidrome.

It was the cycle centre's first major event since opening a few weeks ago. A full house watched on Saturday night as Waikato's own Patrick Bevan secured gold in the men's Points Race during the Elite and Under-19 Track Cycling Championships, earning one of the biggest cheers of the event.

More than 1300 people filled the Avantidrome for the Saturday night session, just under its 1500 capacity. Home of Cycling chief executive Geoff Balme said he was thrilled at the turnout.

"What you've got to remember is that this is the first event we've held, so we've jumped into the deep end a bit.

"We're absolutely thrilled with how things have gone. We had about 1325 on Saturday night. It might not have been the magical 1500, but it was pretty close."

He said staff and the race commissaires have been impressed by the organisation of the event.

"There have been hiccups, but that's to be expected. They have told me that this is running better than a lot of events around the place, so we couldn't be happier with that."

And if you're wondering why cowbells are banned - they sound just like the bell that signals the final lap of a race. ben.strang@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

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Waikato Times