Event for young riders seeks to identify stars of tomorrow

This Saturday sees the first round of The Revolution Series at Manchester Velodrome, with some of the country’s top road and track stars fighting it out in a new team format, as previously reported on road.cc.

But the event also gives fans the opportunity to watch some talented youngsters who hope to make their mark on the sport in the years ahead through the Future Stars championship, sponsored by DHL.

The competition sees 48 young male and female riders battle it out for the respective titles, and they also get the chance to race alongside the more established names in the Revolution Championship team event.

Phil West of British Cycling says, “once again, we have a really talented bunch of riders taking part in Future Stars, so it’s a tough call to pick a favourite for the title. However, a few of the riders have been doing great things this season and will definitely be worth keeping an eye on.”

Among those he singles out are Scotland’s John Paul, who was denied the 200m Youth National record this year because of a fault in the timing system. Owain Doull, from Cardiff, British Junior Points Champion, and John Dibben, who won two silver medals at the European Youth Olympics last July, are also ones to watch, according to West.

In the women’s event, West expects Hannah Barnes and Lucy Garner, both of whom have won multiple titles on the road and track, to figure prominently. The pair tied for ninth in last year’s Future Stars series, but West expects both to improve on that this time round.

The male event was inaugurated in 2004 when it was won by Steven Burke, and Peter Kennaugh, Andy Fenn, Dan McLay and Simon Yates have all won the championship in the ensuing years. The female category started a year later, and has been won by Lucy Richards, Alex Greenfield, Corinne Hall and Ruby Miller.

DHL is now in its fourth year of sponsorship for the event, and European CEO Guy Elliott says: "The amount of young talent coming through the British Cycling track leagues right across the country is breathtaking and I am sure these races will be exciting for the riders and public. We have really enjoyed working with young riders at the DHL Sprint Schools over the last three years and it is great to see so many of them now stepping up to this level of racing, riding alongside the World's elite riders."

Such is the anticipation of this year’s Revolution Series that tickets for Saturday’s event have already sold out, although hospitality is still available for tables of ten. Information on that, and subsequent races in the series, can be found at www.cyclingrevolution.com.

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.