The Revolution track series season-opener filled the Manchester Velodrome on Saturday as the first event in the series’ eighth season saw superb performances from Sir Chris Hoy who proved he was back on top form after dominating his event.
Revolution 29 was also track legend Chris Newton’s last competitive track event. The new GB Academy Coach powered through to an impressive victory in the Motor Paced Scratch Race, coming home to a standing ovation from the sell-out crowd. He beat fellow endurance specialists Steven Burke and Luke Rowe, two riders who have already benefited from the Great Britain U23 Academy.
The main sprint event, the Championship Sprint saw exciting heats between some of British Cycling’s hottest young prospects, racing against sprint veterans, Chris Hoy and Ross Edgar.
After the early heats, Chris Hoy beat Jason Kenny in the semi-final, while David Daniell came top against Matt Crampton in the other heat. That meant a battle of young and old in the final, with 20-year-old Daniell putting up a good fight against Olympic hero Sir Chris Hoy. Despite his best efforts, Sir Chris proved too much for the youngster and took the win. Matt Crampton subsequently won the Losers’ 6 Lap Dash.
The DHL Future Stars races has previously seen Elite stars like Steven Burke and Team Sky’s Peter Kennaugh in its ranks, and there has been some strong indications that Season 8’s line up has some serious potential.
In the Boys’ events, Matt Cross won the points race with beating Harry Tanfield on count-back, only because of a higher placing in the final sprint. Tanfield was unlucky again, getting third in the 6 Lap Dash; Matt Rotherham edged ahead of James Berryman to take the win. Sam Lowe, who attacked early on in the 6 Lap Dash, was rewarded with a win in the 5km Scratch Race in a bunch sprint from Chris Latham and Alex Minting.
The Girls’ competition kicked off with the 5km Scratch Race. Jess Crampton was successful in the bunch sprint and edged ahead of Lucy Garner and Rebecca Hunt. The Points Race saw Emily Kay, who was far back in the scratch race, rise back to the top taking the lead with 8 points. Kay didn’t stop there, and also proved too strong in the 6 Lap Dash. Kay will once again be the one to watch in the girl’s competition after winning the title last year.
The Revolution crowd were treated to more Elite action with the popular Revolution event, the 1km Madison Time Trial. Dan McLay was paired with Team Sky’s new addition Alex Dowsett and the young duo produced an impressive 58.016, but that was no match for Motorpoint Marshall’s Pasta Olympic duo of Steven Burke and Ed Clancy taking the win with 56.316.
It was a good evening for Ed Clancy in the 15km Points Race too. Likely suspects Luke Rowe and Alex Dowsett were active throughout and did enough to seal second and third spots. Clancy took 5 points first and third sprints, with 13 points ahead of Rowe’s 10, he knew he had to figure well in the final sprint. And in a perfect display of tactics, Clancy took the final sprint keeping his two race rivals at bay and enabling his team mate, the impressive Andy Tennant to be placed fourth.
If anyone wanted to see a prime example of closing a gap in sprinting, they couldn’t have done much better than watch the Revolution Keirin. As the bike peeled off with 2 ½ laps to go, Jason Kenny looked like he had got one up on his sprint rivals, but Chris Hoy pulled out everything he had to pip past Kenny on the line for a truly emphatic victory. It’s fair to say the crowd went wild for the popular Scot, and quite rightly so, it was a huge gap in sprinting terms to chase down.
Clancy used Revolution 29 to prove that he is one of the most prolific endurance riders on the scene at the moment. With Clancy’s eye on the Omnium competition in 2012, these consistent performances must surely bode well for British fans hoping for success in London 2012. An impressive solo TT effort by Alex Dowsett wasn’t enough and was caught. A new break of Ed Clancy and Luke Rowe formed shortly thereafter, joined by Martin Irvine. Despite Dowsett’s earlier efforts, he found the energy to help attempt to pull back the breakaway; but Clancy saw the danger and as they were about to be reeled in attacked again in the final 200m to take yet another win in a Revolution endurance event.
The final and most anticipated event of Revolution 29 was the England vs Scotland Team Sprint event, which saw the best sprinters of the night battle it out for their respective countries. It was a battle of the Scot’s experience versus the energy of the young English team. Chris Hoy, Ross Edgar and Chris Pritchard looked good out of the gates, while the English trio of Jason Kenny, Matt Crampton and David Daniell were slightly less organised. It was close, but the English came out on top, proving that there is a great new breed of young sprinters coming through the Great Britain squad ahead of the big season of major championships.
The Championship Format continues within Revolution, allowing for spectators to support their favourite riders within the Revolution’s trade teams. Leading the competition after the first event is Team Sky who took the full 10 league points ahead of Maxgear Racing in second and Le Col in third. Full league standings are available on cyclingrevolution.com
The next Revolution event is on Saturday November 20 and will feature a host of exciting riders from the 6-Day scene. Tickets are available from www.cyclingrevolution.com