Sylvan Adams holds a cheque for the long-awaited transformation of the Bromont Velo-drome. (Michel Guillemette/ Fédération québécoise des sports cyclists photo)
Sylvan Adams, the retired billionaire real estate developer who made aliyah in 2015, returned to Quebec to announce that he will put $2 million towards transforming the open-air Bromont Velodrome into an indoor facility.
In recognition of this pivotal donation, the new covered cycling track will bear Adams’ name. Expected to reopen at the end of next year, the velodrome will be the only one of its kind in Quebec.
Adams, who took up competitive cycling when he was in his 30s, used to train at the velodrome. He said he is happy to give back to the community that gave him that opportunity.
Originally built for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the 250-metre oval was bought by, and relocated to, the Eastern Townships, where it opened in 2001. It serves as a bike racing training centre, but only for about 70 days a year, due to the weather.
The project, which was launched in 2014, calls for installing a roof and completely renovating the interior, turning the facility into a multi-sport centre that will be open to the public year-round. With this upgrade, it should qualify for hosting international cycling events, at least at the junior and masters levels.
Quebec has been without such a facility since the Montreal velodrome, which was built for the 1976 Olympics, closed in 1989.
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Last August, the provincial government announced that it would contribute $4.5 million to the project, whose total cost is estimated at $12 million. Bromont, a town of about 8,000, is putting in $2 million and the rest, it is hoped, will come from the private sector.
Adams’ gift allows groundbreaking to commence in October, with an expected completion date of December 2020. While in Montreal, Adams delivered a $500,000 cheque, the first instalment of his donation.
“After several laps, we are finally approaching the finish line,” said André Michaud, president of the Fédération québécoise des sports cyclists, the provincial governing body of bicycle racing.
“I lack the words to express my gratitude for this generous act. Sylvan, on behalf of all current and future cyclists, I thank you. Thanks to you, they will soon have access to an infrastructure worthy of their talent and their ambitions.”
Adams is a champion cyclist himself, holding two world masters track titles and numerous Quebec and Canadian records.
In 2015, he co-founded, and is co-owner of, the Israel Cycling Academy, the country’s first professional cycling team, which competes internationally.
Last year, Adams brought the first three stages of the prestigious Giro d’Italia road race to Israel for the first time. He has also promised $5 million toward the construction of a velodrome in Tel Aviv, which would be the first in the Middle East.