Revolution Series One
Manchester Velodrome November 29th 2003
The aim of the Revolution Series is to create a new atmosphere in track
cycling increasing spectator appeal and changing the way people think about
track cycling. The series will create a new level of excitment by bringing in
big international road and track riders as well as homegrown talent in a new
dynamic racing environment...
Such were the aims of the organisers of the first of four meetings to be held
over the coming months, and these aims and more were achieved on what was a
stunning night of track cycling that thrilled a packed Manchester Velodrome on
The only hitch in the evening was a delayed start (just 15 minutes) to allow
the fans delayed in traffic to squeeze into the famous velodrome in time to see
all the action. Not that that would have worried the fans who arrived early;
they were treated to the sign of two rainbow jerseys, David Millar and Bradley
Wiggins, gently warming up with the other stars of the night while the PA
inevitably played “Children of the Revolution” by T Rex.
Millar also took the opportunity to test out a few track bikes in the centre:
“You could put a shopping basket on this one,” he commented…
So stadium packed and the stars came out - first race, the 10 km Derny
Scratch, saw the pace and atmosphere gradually build and when the Derny pulled
over and the real “motors” got going, the cheers must have been heard in Old
Trafford on the other side of the city. Chris Newton, Byran Steel and evergreen
Malcolm Elliott put in the first attack of the evening, but powerhouse Rob
Hayles pulled them back and on the last lap it was Wiggins, Millar, Hayles and
Newton left surging for the line with Millar winning by a whisker from Wiggins.
10km Motor Scratch Race (Elite)
1 David Millar (Cofidis)
2 Bradley Wiggins (FDJeux.com)
The “young guns” then had their turn to entertain in an 8km Scratch race, and
with Adam Blythe, Ian Stannard and Ben Swift all putting in notable efforts, Jos
Hargreaves of Eastlands Velo proved to be just strongest take the race. The
field of young stars and big hitters proved to be an attractive mix, which was
reflected in the audience which ranged from toddlers (Malcolm Elliott’s little
girl was not the youngest spectator) to a gentleman celebrating his 90th
The Best of British Pursuit Challenge - 2km would see the riders with
the two fastest times go through to the final and the heats proved that the
Island of “testers” love to watch pursuits. Rob Hayles got the better of Byran
Steel, Paul Manning beat Malcolm Elliot while Bradley Wiggins, as always
starting slow (comparatively) and gradually building a head of steam, set the
fastest time of 2.15.502 to beat Newton and take a place in the final with Rob
While the action swirled around the track, the organisers arranged interviews
with Elliott, Wiggins and Millar. All three riders took time out to sign fans
autographs and chat with the crowd and Millar was awarded a trophy of
recognition by the BCF, which he clearly appreciated. The queue of youngsters to
see Millar filled the centre area and the World Champion calmly pulled a chair
over and happily signed autographs and chatted with his young (and not so young
fans). Great to see a World Champion take so much time and effort with his fans
and he gave many future young guns an evening they will never forget (not to
mention booming sales of Cofidis caps).
Meanwhile back on the track it was Ben Swift (Scunthorpe Poly) winning
the Future Stars 10 km points race ahead of Adam Blythe and Ben Mitchell.
Wiggins proved why he is in the Rainbow jersey in the 2km pursuit by once again
gradually wearing down his opponent Rob Hayles.
Best of British Pursuit Challenge 2km Final
1 Bradley Wiggins (FDJeux.com) 3.27.095 (av 32.404mph)
2 Rob Hayles (Cofidis) 3.29.181
The Elite Keirin final saw Jon Norfolk (Yasumitsu Schlapp) win in front of
Matthew Haynes while the original “El Nino” Chris Newton, the 2002 World points
champion, rode a masterful race to win the 15km Elite points race.
A marvellous evening of racing was concluded when the ever popular Rob
Hayles won the Elite 15km Scratch in a very competitive final clash of the
evening which saw most of the field lapped as Bryan Steel, Geraint Thomas and
Matthew Haynes put the hammer down.
So a great night out, a perfect advert for British Track cycling, superb
venue, fantastic crowd, electric atmosphere - BRING ON THE NEXT REVOLUTION!
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Pictures to follow...