Olympic champions Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton head a star-studded line-up for the final round of the Revolution Series at the Manchester Velodrome on Saturday where they will do battle with some of the same rivals they will meet four weeks later at the World Championships in Copenhagen.
This evening session is sold out, but tickets are still available for the afternoon event, built around the National Madison Championships, and which also features Hoy and Pendleton in action during their respective sprint qualification rounds.
Other Team GB riders looking to use the event as preparation for the World Championships include Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar, and the British cyclists will face top-level competitors from countries including Italy, The Netherlands and Switzerland plus a full German team which includes Stefan Nimke, World Champion at the Kilo.
According to Pendleton, “the Revolution is a really good opportunity to get some race experience approaching the Worlds. I haven't done that many World Cups this year and there's going to be a few good riders there who I'll be up against at the Worlds so it's a good idea to see where I'm at, and where they're at too!"
"My preparation for the Worlds is going quite well at the moment” she added. “I've had a few troubles with injury but hopefully I think they're under control which is definitely pleasing. I'm looking forward to going into Copenhagen and hope to regain my jersey for another year."
Pendleton, current World and Olympic champion in the Sprint, also said that for now she will continue to concentrate on that event, although recent changes to the Olympic programme mean that she will also have the opportunity of going for gold in the Team Sprint and the Keirin at London 2012.
"Currently, the sprint is still my main focus,” she explained. “We're just re-strengthening the sprint squad at the moment, the riders coming through are fairly young still and they're only just starting to train full time. Jess Varnish and Becky James are looking very promising for the future, but this year it's about sticking to the original plan and what I was focusing on, which fundamentally is still the sprint event,” she continued.
“I am looking forward to competing in the team sprint, but it's still early days,” added Pendleton. “We're still in the process of forming a team, and how we're going to approach it. It's still quite experimental for us in that phase, but the team sprint will be a very dominant part of my programme from next year onwards."
Reflecting the new Olympic programe, Revolution will feature Individual and Team Sprints as well as the Jeirin, and also sees Pendleton up against Dutch rider Will Kanis, whom she beat to take the World Championship in Poland and who finished third in this season’s World Cup rankings.
Pendleton sees Saturday as an opportunity to put down a marker ahead of Copenhagen, saying: "It's always good to prove to your rivals, how well you're going, if you're going well! Sprinting is very psychological and therefore having as many opportunities to be dominant or perform well is always good. However, we're still a training block away from the World Championships so I'm hoping that I've got a lot of improving to do before I get there," she concluded.
The afternoon session takes place from Noon to 3.30pm, with doors opening at 11am. Tickets cost £6, or £3 for concessions and £15 for families of four, and can be ordered online from the Revolution website or by telephoning the Manchester Velodrome on 0161 223 2244.
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.