Mark Cavendish received a hero’s welcome ahead of his first race on British soil since being crowned world road race champion – and the Manx Missile duly delivered a winning performance in the Revolution scratch race at the Manchester Velodrome.
Making his first appearance on the boards since the 2009 World Track Cycling Championships, Cavendish clocked 17 minutes over the 15km race to top the podium ahead of Olympic individual pursuit bronze medallist Steven Burke.
“It all started off here [in Manchester] so it’s good to come back,” said Cavendish. “It was more intense than what I’m used to at this time of year. The reception I had was amazing. It’s packed here and it’s great.”
Cavendish will ride for Team Sky on the road in 2012 and his new team-mates Alex Dowsett and Geraint Thomas finished 15th and 18th respectively after being involved in early breaks.
The recently-retired Rob Hayles was afforded a standing ovation by the sell-out crowd in recognition of a career which saw the 38-year-old win three Olympic medals and two world titles, one with Cavendish in the madison in 2005.
Team UK Youth rider Burke won the opening event of the night, the motor paced scratch race, before Rapha Condor Sharp duo Ed Clancy and Andrew Tennant claimed victory in the 1km madison time trial.
David Daniell continued his form from Revolution 33 to win the sprint omnium, with the Commonwealth Games silver medallist also victorious in the the 500m time trial.
Team UK Youth lead the Revolution Championship with 314 points, ahead of Rouleur with 293. Round three will take place on January 7. Tickets are available from www.cyclingrevolution.com
Highlights of Revolution 34 will be shown on ITV4 on Monday 21 November at 7pm.