Olympic medalist Callum Skinner opens new Edinburgh cafe with coffee bar made from velodrome wood

Scottish athlete Callum Skinner is opening a cafe with furniture featuring part of the former Meadowbank Velodrome track where he started out his career.

By Katharine Hay
Monday, 12th October 2020, 8:14 am
Updated Monday, 12th October 2020, 9:13 am

The track cyclist, who scooped his first gold medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016, founded sustainable coffee company Five Rings Coffee with fellow Olympic medal winners, Philip Hindes and Owain Doull.

The three will be opening their first cafe, aptly named Meadowbank, in 33 George Street, Edinburgh, on Thursday, 16 October.

Part of the track from the Meadowbank Velodrome, which hosted two Commonwealth Games and kickstarted the career of many cycling legends including Skinner, has been built in to the coffee shop’s bar.

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In a post on Twitter Skinner said: “Upcycling a legendary (but under appreciated) Scottish, British and Commonwealth sporting venue into our Five Rings Coffee bar.

"It's the track where I started my cycling career, can't wait to bring it home to Edinburgh.

“Apt that is playing a part in kickstarting my new career too.”

The cafe will be open from 9am until 4pm and will serve Five Rings Coffee products including its Brazilian Single Origin, Blind Faith for espresso brewed coffee and a Columbian Single Origin, Cali Crash as a batch brew.

Callum Skinner sitting at the late Meadowbank Velodrome

Built for the Commonwealth Games in 1970, Meadowbank was the first 250-metre timber track in the UK. A frequently-noted design flaw was the absence of a roof and it swiftly earned the nickname “Wellydrome” given the frequency with which racing was rained off because of the dangers of riding its steep banking in wet weather.

The venue was the scene of many cycling highlights, starting with the day when Edinburgh’s Brian Temple won a silver medal in the 10 mile event in 1970, making him Scotland’s first-ever Commonwealth cycling medallist.

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