Women took on the men at the Manchester Velodrome this weekend in a new twist on the ‘Marymoor Crawl’ race. The young Welsh rider Ellie Coster of USN triumphed over a field including double road world champion Giorgia Bronzini, Olympic champions Ed Clancy and Laura Trott, and Sky’s Luke Rowe.
Organisers FACE Partnership included the race, which originated in Oregon, USA, in its programme for the first time in London last month, renaming it 'The Longest Lap,' after we shared a video of it. The event has quickly established itself as a crowd-pleaser here.
The format is simple. The race lasts one lap, but riders have to wait up to four minutes for the gun to signal the start – and during that time, they cannot grab a rail, put a foot on the ground, or impede a fellow competitor.
On Saturday, the women were given a half-lap head start on the men, and Coster timed her ride perfectly to take the honours in a race that also brought to an end Trott’s remarkable winning streak at the Revolution Series.
The Wiggle Honda rider, who won all six Omnium events in London last month, had won the last 19 races she rode in the domestic track competition, but admitted, "I can't track stand.” She added: “I track-standed for the longest time I ever have done, so there's a positive in all of that!"
Among the stars racing at the weekend were French rider François Pervis, reigning world champion in the keirin, sprint and individual time trial.
He said: "I really enjoy racing at the Revolution Series. It's always full, and the public always scream. For me it's a good competition and it's always a good level of racing so it provides an important test as I prepare for the World Championships in Paris next year.”
The next round of this season’s Revolution Series takes place in Manchester on 3 January, and tickets are still available here.
Highlights of the racing will be shown on Channel 4 on Saturday 29 November at 06:40 and afterwards on 4OD.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.