Encased in lycra, shiny helmet on head, the cyclist took the bends with ever-increasing confidence. He suddenly swooped from high on the track. The assurance of the move signalled Sir Chris Hoy was at home. Of course, he was. He was cycling at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome and more than the memories of triumphs past were raised by his most gentle reintroduction to the sporting arena and to the venue that will carry his name.
There was history made yesterday as the velodrome opened its doors to Britain's greatest Olympian, but the purpose of this shiny edifice is that it offers hope to the future.
Those who have trekked for generations up London Road in search of home or a spot on the terracing will be astounded at the transformation a major investment can make. The modern Celtic Park now peers across the road to a wonderful upstart of a project. The first indoor velodrome in Scotland is impressive in both shape and purpose.
Hoy clambered from his bike to offer the opinion that owed much to his determination to make the Commonwealth Games of 2014 a success and to his hope that a tradition of cycling success in Scotland can be continued along a track of Siberian pine in the East End of Glasgow.
"It is amazing to be here and to finally see it in the flesh. It is a terrific environment and it will also be a great training facility. Hopefully it will make a difference to a lot of people and help inspire a generation," he said.
"To see my name on the door is a massive honour. It was a huge surprise when I heard what was happening in the first place. When I walked into the place it really hit home and I'm very proud. To have a world-class facility like this is amazing and to have it named after you is all quite surreal.
"It has been hard to take everything in over the past few weeks. One day I'm on an open-top bus and the next there is a velodrome with my name on it."
Hoy says all this without a hint of self-aggrandisement but rather in the manner of someone genuinely thrilled about where a cycle ride can lead.
Scanning a stadium in Glasgow some distance from his home city of Edinburgh, the six-time Olympic gold medallist was also aware that the velodrome stands in tribute to riders who never achieved his public profile but whose achievements were substantial.
He paid generous tribute to such as Flying Scotsman Graeme Obree and King of the Mountains Robert Millar, both Scots who achieved greatness in the saddle. Obree, now 47, twice broke the the world hour record while Millar, now 57, won the mountain competition in the 1984 Tour de France.
Hoy has sprinted out of that often under-chronicled tradition to bask deservedly in the glow of medals won in Athens, Beijing and London but he remembers those greats.
"I'm a great admirer of Graeme," Hoy said. "He has been an inspiration to me and he was my hero when I was younger. He's had films made in his honour and he is just a legend of the sport. Not just in Scotland but he is famous throughout the whole world as a cyclist."
Of Millar and Obree, he added: "They have inspired this generation and hopefully this facility and the success of the Scottish team will inspire the next generation.
"Hopefully the achievements of these guys in different eras won't be wasted and I think this facility is as much to do with the people 10, 20, 30 years ago as it is to do with me. I was inspired by them and used that momentum to get success."
That momentum took Hoy to two gold medals in an extraordinary summer of sport but that achievement – and the honour of having a stadium named after him – still does not make him favourite for the BBC Sports personality of the Year.
"I'm certainly not expecting to be up there in the running this time," said Hoy, who won the title in 2008. "If I'm in the top 10, then I would be very happy."
The personality of the year award may only be a bauble compared to Olympic gold, grand slam success in tennis or the winning of a Tour de France or Ryder Cup, but it was fascinating to hear Hoy's take on his contenders and his final choice.
"My head says Bradley as I never thought a Briton would win the Tour de France," he said. "I have known him for so long and he has been a great team mate," he added of Wiggins.
"Andy Murray's performance in winning the US Open was also incredible. But, if I had to pick the winner of the sports personality I would go for one from left field. I think Katherine Grainger deserves it after finally triumphing after three silver medals. For me, she epitomises everything that is great about sport. The inability to give up, the appetite for hard work.
"I'd like to see her win although I think it will go to one of the big names like Bradley, Andy, Mo [Farah] or Jess (Ennis)."
Any individual honour will not detract from the collective wonderful summer of sport that continued on Sunday with the most remarkable comeback by the Europeans at Medinah in the Ryder Cup.
Hoy, whose busy schedule ensured he could only follow that drama on Twitter, was coy about what he considered the best moments of the summer.
"It would be unfair to do that," he said when asked to nominate his top three. "I couldn't even pick a top 10, to be honest with you. There have been that many. It sounds like a cop-out but I think this has been the greatest year of sport in Britain ever.
"There have been a number of exceptionally high performances across the board in all kinds of sports. From Andy Murray, Mo Farah, Jess Ennis and Kath Grainger there have just been so many, and so many who have been forgotten.
"Jason Kenny was a double gold medallist at the Olympics and he rarely gets a mention. But I think his performance in the sprint was a stand out."
Kenny, of course, was preferred in that discipline to Hoy, then the reigning champion, who took the decision with extraordinary grace.
As an ambassador for Glasgow 2014, he was encouraged by the part Scots have played in the season of success that continued at Medinah with Paul Lawrie.
"It is hugely important for Scotland to play a part in GB success because it shows these Games were not about London but about the whole of the UK in the same way the Glasgow Games will be about the whole of Scotland. We have to get people from the furthest points in the Orkney and Shetland Isles to realise this will be a games for Scotland and they can be part of it."
Hoy has still not made a decision about whether he will saddle up for one more ride towards glory but his ambassadorial role ensures he will be a presence at Glasgow 2014.
His task and his aim is to encourage another generation of Scottish kids to wake up on Christmas Day and take their bike for a spin with a lightness of spirit and the strength of hope that the road may lead to a competitive arena with their name above the door.
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