As most of us are busy making mud flaps out of Fairly Liquid bottles, there are a select few who are busy training for the indoor track season.
The Revolution series provides excellent preparation for the riders and entertainment for the crowds, and on Saturday night the National Cycling Centre of Manchester was again packed with an estimated crowd of 3,000 spectators. The night bought out some excellent riders from the past and present, not all of them were riding; Dave Millar and Steve Cummings were spotted having a good time at the VIP Bar.
The night kicked off with the Elite Men’s Devil-Scratch, Ballerini, Tafi and Sorensen had troublesome times and their lack of race-fitness showed through, being the first 3 to be eliminated. Ross Sander taking victory over a huge finishing effort from Rob Hayles, Chris Newton and Peter Kennaugh close behind.
The sprint heats were closely contested, with Chris Hoy showing his superb form giving outstanding performances in his heat. Most rounds producing very quick sub-eleven standards. The final saw a battle of the World Championship Bands, Chris Hoy took off with a lap to go and eventually saw victory as Theo Bos quite simply could not hold his wheel. Jason Kenny, who had a previous mechanical in his sprint heat made up for his disappointment by taking an impressive win in the 1 Mile Dash, the junior world champion showing his talent, well appreciated by 3,000 watching spectators.
The future stars races saw many strong performances from established riders such as Andrew Fenn, Alex Greenfield, Tom Buck and Jess Varnish (all victors in their races) – Steven Hill also attacked in an excellently timed move to take strong win and even have time to salute the crowd. The event was an opportunity for new Future Stars sponsors DHL/Exel Supply Chain to show their intent for developing talent in what was a very professionally run event. Guy Elliott and colleagues of DHL/Exel supply chain were said to be ‘wowed’ and very excited about supporting the event for the next 3 years.
There were various scorers in the 10km Elite Points Race but it was Recyling.co.uk’s Chris Newton who took overall victory with 15 points, Newton’s nearest rival in second place was Steve Burke with 6 points. Attacks from Alex Dowsett and Peter Kennaugh were successful but only for short periods of time as riders such as Rob Hayles initiating chase from the main bunch.
Steven Burke and Adam Blythe, both national champions showed their speed and technical ability in the 1km Madison Time Trial. Beating more experienced and established riders Rob Hayles & Chris Newton in 57.7 seconds.
Retro stars Tafi, Sciandri, Sorensen and Ballerini impressed the crowd with their efforts in the 4km pursuit, although their top-end fitness was visibly lacking it is clear of the base these top riders still have. Tafi took the overall victory in 2minutes and 39 seconds.
It was Craig Maclean who eagerly took the prime position in the derny, but as the derny pulled off it was Chris Hoy who took the initiative and used his form again to keep away from Ross Edgar in the closing stages. Young promise Matt Crampton took a good win in the Support Kerin.
As the night came to a close it was Ross Sander who impressively took a lap in the scratch race (with a a bit of help from Peter Kennaugh) – Adam Blythe took the bunch sprint it was Sander’s early move which paid dividends.
The final event, the Team Sprint was one of the most exciting, GB’s composite squads took the top 2 places, Staff, Queally and Hoy taking a good ride for first, with MacLean, Crampton and Edgar just behind.