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Cycling enthusiasts surprised by drop-in visit from Nick Clegg at Manchester’s velodrome

By Hannah Hulme

Cycling enthusiasts were surprised by a drop-in visit from the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the National Cycling Centre yesterday.

Susan Wards and 12-year-old son Michael were visiting Manchester after scoring tickets to the men’s football semi-final at Old Trafford this evening.

Michael was watching his dad practise at the velodrome, where the GB Olypmic team train, when Mr Clegg stopped for a chat.

“We were really surprised,” said Mrs Ward.

“We had just dropped in because Michael’s dad loves to cycle, and he takes every chance he can get to visit the velodrome.

“We’ve come all the way from Livingston in Scotland to see the semi-final tonight.”

The Deputy Prime Minister spent the day visiting the National Cycling Centre and the Moss Side Fire Station Gym, to see first-hand the massive sporting boost created by the Games and how it is inspiring the next generation.

Mr Clegg spent a few minutes chatting to Michael and Susan about the football,  before continuing his tour of the centre.

But it’s not the first famous encounter the family have had at the velodrome.

Michael said: “We were here in November and we saw Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton practising with an electric scooter in front of them.”

“They were flying along,” added Susan. “It’s was very exciting!”

The velodrome is home to some of the most successful cycling names from the London 2012 Olympics.

The indoor BMX track, which opened in 2011, was inspired by the London 2012 Games and received £3m from the Inspired Facilities programme, part of Sport England’s Legacy programme.

It is a training facility for the Great Britain BMX team – including Shanaze Reade who will compete later today and is another medal hopeful.

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