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Track Cycling: Revolution Series One
 
By Podofdonny
Date: 11/30/2003
Track Cycling: Revolution Series One
 

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 Saturday night.

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 birthday.

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 Hayles.

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!

Keep in touch with news from the Revolution - here.

Pictures to follow...


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