The National Cycling Centre in Manchester was completely sold-out for the final round of the 2011-12 Revolution track series that saw a host of London 2012 Olympic stars take to the boards.
Sir Chris Hoy was there to hone his form ahead of the UCI Track World Cup round in the London 2012 velodrome in February.
Hoy qualified fastest in the morning session, but lost out on the initial face off against Jason Kenny and was unable to get the better of some of his sprinting rivals. With the test event just two weeks away and the Olympics only six months down the line, the Revolution provided some serious sprinting competition.
It was Kenny who eventually won the Revolution Sprint Competition, with consistent performances, and he started off by taking Hoy by surprise in the first round.
But in the Cycling Weekly Keirin, Hoy really showed that he is still the one to watch ahead of the Olympics, winning convincingly after taking the race from the back.
“It was a good night,” said Hoy. “I was disappointed with my sprint, it’s an area I’m trying to make less and less errors.”
Hoy finished off his evening of competition with the Team Sky vs France Team Sprint, where he made up the British trio with Kenny and Matt Crampton. They were victorious in 44.320 over the French’s 46.624.
“To win the Keirin was great. In the team sprint we had a bit of an issue, Matt’s saddle rail broke on turn three and he went off the track but came back on; for a minute I thought he was going to crash in front of me,” explained Hoy. “I almost bailed completely and went up the track, but in the end I didn’t realise how far the French were down.
“We’re far from worried about the team sprint, all you can do is train the best you can; train hard, train smart, and that’s what we’re doing. We’re putting in some pretty horrendous training sessions at the moment.”
Hoy added: “It’s been a good day and it’s a stepping stone towards the World Cup in London. I want to win whether it’s the Revolution or the Olympics.”
In the Revolution Elite Endurance events, Maxgear kicked things off with a win in the Team Elimination; the increasingly formidable trio of Adam Yates, Simon Yates and Harry Tanfield proving too much for the competition.
Team Sky’s Alex Dowsett looked in good form after the Tour Down Under season opener. He took the Points Race win, ahead of Michael Mørkøv, after missing out in the National Madison Championships during the afternoon.
Team UK Youth’s Claudio Imhof and Mark Christian did some work to maintain their series standings by taking the 1km Madison Time Trial in 59.036.
The Derny Scratch Race was a hugely popular addition to the Revolution programme, with each endurance rider being allocated their own derny bike as a pacer, which ended in a sprint; Simon Yates took the victory in that one.
Michael Mørkøv built on his second place in the Points Race to take the win in the Scratch Race, ahead of the in-form Simon Yates.
In the DHL Future Stars, the unbeatable Emily Kay (Cunga Bikes) and Jake Ragen (Maxgear Racing) held their respective leads, ending the season on a high. Throughout this Revolution Championships, they have proved they are formidable riders and ones to watch for the future.
At the end of the Revolution Series 9, Maxgear Racing takes the Championship with 685 points, ahead of Sky Pro Cycling with 654, and Howies with 636.
The hour-long highlights of Revolution 36 will be shown on Monday January 30 2012 at 7pm on ITV4.
Revolution Championship 2011-12
Maxgear Racing – 685
Sky Pro Cycling – 654
Howies – 636
Chep UK – 624
Team UK Youth – 619
Rapha Condor Sharp – 559
Rouleur – 549
Cunga Bikes – 433
Jason Kenny and Matt Crampton in the sprint final
Maxgear in the Madison time trial
Alex Dowsett in action