Perth SpeedDome: DerbyWheel’s home in Western Australia

The velodrome in the western Australian city of Perth will be one of the arenas used for DerbyWheel’s ‘regular season’ race weekends, due to begin in the second half of 2024. DerbyWheel CEO James Pope confirmed the news in his appearance on The Piste Take podcast in February.

The SpeedDome is located in Midvale, around 17km from Perth’s central business district. It was built in 1989, with a A$ 2.5 million refurbishment completed in 2017. It hosts track cycling and roller sports, along with other indoor hard-court sports including lacrosse and basketball. The arena has fixed tiered seating for 1,500 spectators.

The 250m Siberian pine track was designed by architect Ralph Schürmann, and built under the supervision of British-based Australian Ron Webb. It’s one of more than 60 tracks Webb has worked on, including the UK’s tracks in Newport, Manchester and London. Webb has a reputation for building some of the world’s fastest tracks.

Perth hosted the 1997 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, which saw France’s Frédéric Magné win the second of his three world keirin titles. There was no keirin event for women at worlds until 2002.

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Perth has also recently been announced as the location for the Australian Road National Championships for three years from 2025. The state government is keen to establish Western Australia’s reputation as a host of world-class sporting events.

Perth is regularly ranked as one of the world’s most liveable cities. It likes to be known as the City Of Light, referencing the moment in 1962 when its residents turn on their house lights and streetlights as the first US astronaut to orbit the Earth, John Glenn passed overhead in Friendship 7.

The Western Australian Museum says it was the city’s way of showing its ’empathy with feelings of isolation’. Perth is known as one of the most remote cities in the world, closer to Jakarta than Sydney.

Perth is in Australia’s Western timezone, 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (UTC), and 2 or 3 hours behind Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. But it aligns conveniently with Korea and Japan, both just one hour ahead. It does not apply Daylight Savings Time.