The Revolution Championship gets underway at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester tonight and this year sees the introduction of trade teams as organisers continue to develop the league format.
“We created the Championship to develop a premier league of track cycling,” said event promoter James Pope. “The introduction of trade teams is the next step in this development and will give our audience the chance to get behind their favourite teams on the road as well as bringing those road rivalries onto the track.”
The competition will see eight teams racing for league points across four events before a winner emerges. The aim will be to attract more pro teams as the competition grows.
“More and more pro teams are running track squads alongside their road teams,” said Pope. “Team Sky best typifies the blend of road and track squads so we hope to bring more teams like Sky into the competition.”
“There will be high expectations for Sky to win,” he continued. “They are the strongest on paper but the smaller teams will benefit from the introduction of six day stars across the later events. This will make the competition unpredictable and will hopefully take it to the wire.”
Team Sky will be hoping to get off to a strong start with Sir Chris Hoy captaining the team at the opening event. He will be looking to score some crucial Championship points for his team but is also using the event as an important part of his preparation for the upcoming European Track Championships starting on November 5.
“Revolution will be a nice warm up for the Europeans and the start of the international track season,” said Sir Chris. “I allowed myself some time to get over the illness I had during the Nationals and didn't start training again until I felt fully recovered so preparations are going well. I certainly won't be peaking for the Europeans but I hope to get some valuable qualification points for the London Olympics in the process.”
Away from the sprint battles, rising star Alex Dowsett will hope to make an impact in the endurance events. Fresh from strong time trial performances in the Commonwealth Games and Chrono des Nations, Dowsett will want to carry this form onto the track.
“I had my first track session yesterday so my legs are hurting a bit today” he said. “After all the years I spent in the academy I’ve got the technical track skills and riding with the team pursuit squad will help me get the leg speed back pretty quick.”
“The track will be a bit of experimentation for me this winter” he added. “I’ve had some success this season on the shorter time trials coming close to Taylor Phinney so I’m looking to see if I can replicate his success on the track.”
Riding for the CHEP team, Dowsett’s main competition will come in the form of Motorpoint whose formidable endurance line-up consists of Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant.
Across the other teams, Revolution regulars Dean Downing and Rob Hayles captain the Rapha Condor Sharp and MCC Forza teams respectively. Last year’s victorious team captain Craig MacLean returns to lead team CHEP and Junior Madison World Champion Simon Yates is an exciting prospect in the Maxgear team.
Full team details are published on www.cyclingrevolution.com and tickets are still available online or by calling 0843 208 1840. Tickets will be available to purchase on the door.