LtoR: Owain Doull, George Atkins, Mark Christian, Simon Yates, Tom Murray, Alex Dowsett
The days cycling kicked off with the National Madison Championships peppered with Sprint Qualification rounds for the final Revolution of the season to be held later in the evening, more information on those sprint events in the Revolution 36 Report (online shortly).
The velodrome didn’t appear to have sold out but it was certainly busy and bustling with a great atmosphere long before the proceedings got underway.
After the crowd were whipped up by the first appearance of the all star cast of Hoy and the sprinters the Madison got under way.
Up first was the boys DHL Future Stars Madison race and 11 teams took to the boards which turned out to be a pretty evenly matched race amongst the top four teams, it was quite a cautious race with every pairing watching for danger signs and some great technique on show, in the end the riders of Team Sky James Shaw and Fabio Close pipped the Chep UK team of Ollie Wood and Jake Womersley one the line. Both teams finishing on 8 points.
Boys DHL Future Stars Madison Champions: Fabio Close & James Shaw ©Copyright Ben Dando/Cycling Shorts.
Next it was the turn of the Girls DHL Future Stars riders talented field. We aren’t used to seeing the all conquouring Emily Kay perform in a Madison at the Revolution so we didn’t know what to expect since she obviously could work in a team but she would have to rely and gel well with her partner Emily Nelson. Kay has been such a powerhouse throughout the season and has managed to take the series win before the season is even over. We suspected she was going for the Madison win to add to her titles, she only need cruise the rest of the evenings races in order to take her place on the top of the podium at the end of the evenings events, so we were positive this was the one for her, but we also knew the likes of Ellie Coster, Melissa Lowther and Rebecca Hunt had something to prove. To me the most dangerous pairing seemed to be Cycling Shorts very own Ellie Coster and her partner Becca Hunt, the two were both in the top 4 of the series championship and if they could join forces and beat Emily Kay and Nelson then they would take a title for the team of howies and each have a top podium for all their very consistent and strong performances throughout the season.
It turned out that the top four teams where well matched but in the end the tactics of the howies and Cunga teams were panning out well. No one was prepared to let Emily Kay out of their sight and Ellie Coster was watching her like a hawk throughout the race jumping on the back of her wheel wherever she could. This tactic paid off and after big turns from Becca Ellie had rested legs to put in big sprints. An excellent win by Becca Hunt and Ellie Coster showing great communication, tactics and strength. Nelson and Kay came in second with 8 points, two behind the howies girls.
Read more about Ellie’s race in her blog.
Girls DHL Future Stars Madison Champions: Becca Hunt &Ellie Coster - ©Cpoyright Ben Dando/Cycling Shorts.
The main event of the afternoon was of course the GB National Madison Championships and favourite had to be the pairing of Sky’s Alex Dowsett and IG Sigma Sport’s Tom Murray, with Dowsett only recently back from the Tour Down Under and it would be great to see what form he was carrying. On the downside for Dowsett and Murray they aren’t normally teammates so they would have had less training time. It was a strong field and 100% ME had entered four teams into the championships and they really looked strong for a win. Mark Christian and Simon Yates, and last years silver medal holder Jon Mould and his partner Tom Moses looked like they stood a chance. The only other none 100% ME threat looked like the paring of Adam Duggleby and Alistair Rutherford for Sportscover Altura/Vanilla Bikes.
Alex Dowsett - National Madison Championships 2012 - ©Chris Maher www.ChrisMaher.co.uk
The pairing of Dowsett and Murray had their work cut out because from the start they were being watched. As predicted the 100% ME riders went out tough from the start, but it was the pairing of Christian and Yates that really showed they meant business taking the first two sprints. The thirds sprint went to Dowsett and Murray but Christian and Yates looked well practiced, they were controlling all the moves. At the halfway point Alex Dowsett was slung in to the race by Murray in an attempt to take a lap, this was obviously a danger all the other teams were watching out for and probably dreading as Alex’s strength is his time trailing and letting him get away at this stage was going to be disastrous, the pair knew they had to do something because Christian and Yates were racking up the points with 20 and 100% ME’s Tom Moses and Alistair Slater were looking strong with 10. The lap wasn’t taken easily though, but they mopped up the next sprint points which were much needed before finally taking the lap. Shortly after the pairing of Owain Doull and George Atkins completed the lap. This was a red rag to a bull and Christian and Yates not wanting to lose their grip on the race took the lap back perfectly timed for them to take the next sprint and then grabbing the following one too. These two were on rocket fuel! By now the other teams were weighing up their options but only one team decided to do anything about it, but it was all in vain Doull and Atkins attempted a lap but they just kept dangling like a carrot in front of the field. The race was over and an extremely well deserved win by Mark Christian and Simon Yates.
A great afternoons racing and more to follow in the evening with the final Revolution of the season…. Click here to read the Revolution 36 Report.
Watch the highlights of the Revolution Series on ITV4 7pm on 30/01/2012
Boys DHL Future Stars Madison Championship Results:
1 Shaw / Close 8pts
2 Wood / Womersley 8pts
3 Cross / James 5pts
4 Lawless / Ragan 4pts
5 Scott / Hall 3pts
6 Lewis / Evans 2pts
7 Tanfield / Braybrooke 1pts
8 Shakel / Woolf 2pts -1 lap
9 Robbins / Pitt -1 lap
10 Trolove / Hoyle -1 lap
11 Wiltshire / Cocker -1 lap
Girls DHL Future Stars Madison Championship Results:
1 Hunt / Coster 10pts
2 Kay / Nelson 8pts
3 Lowther / Parkinson 6pts
4 Kinrade / Boyd 5pts
5 Barker / Millward 3pts
6 Garner / Broughton 1pts
7 O’Brien / Armstrong
8 Barnes / Dentus
9 English / Haywood
10 Blount / Gillies -1 lap
11 Haycox / Ansell -1 lap
12 Taylor / Gent -3 laps
Elite GB Men’s National Madison Championship Results:
1. Mark Christian and Simon Yates 100% ME 31pts
2. Alex Dowsett and Tom Murray Sky Pro Cycling/Sigma Sport Specialized 23pts
3. George Atkins and Owain Doull – 100% ME 9pts
4. Adam Duggleby and Alistair Rutherford Sportscover Altura/Vanilla Bikes 14pts – 2 Laps
5. Joe Kelly and Jon Mould 100% ME 14pts – 2 Laps
6. Tom Moses and Alistair Slater – 100% ME 12pts – 2 Laps
7. Doug Dewey and David Sinclair – Terra/GWR – 4pts – 5 Laps
8. Tom Arnstein and Mark Stewart – Equipe Velo Ecosse/Spokes Racing DNF
9. Stephen Bradury and Jack Kirk – AW Cycles/Agiskoviner CT DNF
10. Ian Cooper and Richard Prince – Planet X – DNS
All Images ©Copyright Chris & Ben Dando @ Cycling Shorts.
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Click SL (slideshow) or FS (fullscreen)
Last night saw the first round of the Revolution series 2011 get underway. As an enthusiastic crowd filtered into the velodrome through the National Cycling Centre‘s new vaulted reception area the riders were out on the track warming up. There was a real buzz in the air, everything felt fresh and new, the presence for the first time of the TV cameras brought an extra bit of excitement to the proceedings. ITV4 set up their pundit interview area near the finishing line with Ned Boulting and Rob Hayles readying themselves to broadcast.
Rob Hayles & Ned Boulting - Image ©Copyright Ben Dando @ Cycling Shorts.
The format and teams for this season’s Revolution really feel right, the perfect balance has been struck. The team sponsors and structures give the whole event a classic track event feel, with stylish new sponsors including Rouleur Magazine, howies Cycling Clothing, Cunga Bikes and Team UK Youth which is in it’s inaugural year, was set up by the unlikely benefactor Nigel Mansell. The team takes the name of the formula one star’s charity and they fly the flag for the work the organisation does to support over 750,000 young people. These teams were joined by the Revolution old guard of CHEP, Sky, Rapha Condor Sharp and last year’s Championship winners Maxgear.
The headliners included Sky’s Alex Dowsett (British National Time Trial Champion), Steven Burke (National Pursuit Champion), David Daniell and Frances Michael D’Almeida (World Team Sprint Champion)
Devil Scratch Race
Things got underway with the Devil. For those unfamiliar with the format of this fast paced race, there really isn’t any chance of hiding away at the back of the pack waiting to seize glory. The riders have to avoid elimination for the first part of the race with the last rider over the line being disqualified. This happens until you get down to just a handful of riders left on the track and they then fight it out for the win. Alex Dowsett, who’s had a very successful first year on the Sky Pro team, didn’t hang around and was obviously in the mood to show the long road season had been knocked out of his legs. With six or seven laps to go Alex decided to lead out from the front, he shot off the front of the pack and within a couple of laps he had the back of the peloton in sight. He didn’t quite make the catch before the finish line but to be honest I don’t think he tried to. He sat up to celebrate well before the line and the peloton was only metres ahead. The rest of the riders rolled across the line some time later led by Sam Harrison.
There was one thing that seemed different about the atmosphere as people settled in their seats and wandered around the food and bike stands, and it took me a while to realise what it was…. no Watt Bike Challenge! I’m guessing the reason being the huge amount of noise it can generate from the bikes and the spectators. The sound would be a nightmare for the ITV production team to compete with, it did make it was a lot easier to hear Hugh Porter‘s trademark catchphrases over the tannoy too which are always a joy!
DHL Future Stars Girls
One of the standout riders of the evening for me was the lovely Emily Kay. She returns this year to defend her title and she kicked off her first event of the series with an emphatic win in the DHL Future Stars Girls 5km Points Race where she scored points in every sprint for points and then still had enough for a final attack at the finishing line. Alice Barnes took a tumble in the back straight but she got up and dusted herself down to cheers of encouragement from the crowd. Second and third positions were hotly contested by Megan Boyd and Ellie Coster, both putting in great performances. This was just a taster of what was to come later in the evening from Emily though. She continued her charge on the championship jersey with a win in the Girls 6 lap dash and rounded the evening off with the Girls Scratch Race. Riders tried attacks throughout the three Girls events but Emily just stayed calm and controlled the situation. Emily does seem to be head and shoulders above the competition at the moment. She has amazing strength and tactics, an unstoppable combination. I can’t wait to see where her career goes, she’s destined for great things!
Kian Emadi winning his heat against Michael D'Almeida - Image ©Copyright Chris Dando @ Cycling Shorts.
In the sprint competition Round 1 saw Louis Oliva beaten by David Daniell and Kian Emadi proved he’s a talent to be watched as he nudged out Frenchman Thierry Jollet. Philip Hindes was beaten by Michael D’Almeida. Craig MacLean never ceases to amaze me, his experience and strength seemed to be too much for John Paul who put in a valiant effort.
Round 2 saw Craig MacLean make David Daniell work hard for his win and Kian Emadi dispatched World Sprint Champion Michael D’Almeida with an audible gasp from the spectators. I’m not even sure Kian expected that result.
In the Losers 6 Lap Dash race John Paul pushed his way past Thierry Jollet to deny the French yet again.
The Final of the sprint was a great fight between Dave Daniell – who’s obviously on form – and 19 year old Kian Emadi. They were well matched through the early stages of the race but David Daniell had the better of Kian in the second half and powered to the line by almost a bike length.
DHL Future Stars Boys
While the boys events weren’t dominated by one person there was good news for Team CHEP taking 2 wins; Jake Scott took the first of the boys events (Boys 5km Scratch Race) beating Zac May (howies) and Ollie Wood won the Boys 6 Lap Dash ahead of Adam Lewis (Cunga Bikes) and Chris Lawless (Maxgear). CHEP teammate Jake Womersley said, “The races went very well for me and my team, we came out with two wins which was brilliant, they weren’t from me but I tried to help my team mates to get where they needed to be. It was good to be in front of a large audience like that, it really motivates me to do well”.
The Future Stars Boys Scratch race went to Ryan Whatmough. Ryan rode stongly last season and it looks like he’s back to make a play for the championship. He crossed the line ahead of Matthew Cross in 2nd. Jake Ragen put in a great performance throughout the evening with 2nd place in the points race and 3rd in the Scratch race.
Russell doing his Fonzie Mexican Wave - ©Copyright Chris Dando @ Cycling Shorts.
1km Madison Time Trial
Russ Downing whipped up the crowd with Alex in his trademark Fonzie Mexican wave style in preparation for the 1km Madison Time Trial. Alex Dowsett and Russell put in a good performance but in the end they didn’t do enough to get Sky a win, they came in third behind Rapha, winners Leif Lampater and Jon Mould for howies looked very focused and slick taking the win in 58.980.
Points Race – 15km
Russell Downing (Sky) dominated the Points race coming home with 24 points, 9 ahead of David O’Loughlin and Adam Duggleby. I caught up with Russell after the race,
Alex Dowsett Austrailian Pursuit - ©Copyright Chris Dando @ Cycling Shorts.
“I’m loving it, good to know I’ve still got it, I love the Revolutions the crowd create a party atmosphere.”
One of the races I love is the Australian Pursuit. This race is one you have to keep focused on as you need to keep your eyes on the riders and their team manager, who stands throughout the races and acts as their individual start and finishing line. The riders (in this case 8 of them) are evenly spaced out around the track and the object of the twelve lap race is not to be caught by riders starting behind you on the track. If a rider is caught they are immediately eliminated. The winner is the first rider back to their starting position after 12 laps. This endurance race is a great crowd pleaser but pure endurance and in this case it favoured Jens Mouris the Dutch Vacansoleil pro rider in the Rapha colours for the Revolution series. Steven Burke and Alex Dowsett came in second and third respectively.
Feature Race – Round the World Pursuit
A break from the championship came from a special event: in February 2012 Sean Conway intends to cycle solo around the world without a support team in 150 days or less to raise money for SolarAid, hoping to raise £100,000. Throughout this season’s Revolution Series there will be a number of events to help raise money for Sean’s efforts. Each Revolution Sean will take on a different challenge.
Sean Conway on his Pursuit - ©copyright Chris Dando @ Cycling Shorts.
For the first Revolution the challenge was a 12 lap pursuit on fully laden touring bikes. Sean would be up against Vin Coxthe current Global Bike Race record holder, this was going to be tough for both riders as the track is not the environment either of them are used to and touring bikes with panniers aren’t the ideal choice for a velodrome. Sean got off to a good start but the lead swapped a number of times with Vin Cox finally getting the better of Sean and he opened up a gap and made it stick.
After his race Sean challenged members of the audience to beat him on the rollers at his stand. For more information on Sean’s amazing adventure please visit his website and please donate www.cyclingtheearth.co.uk
Keirin (8 laps)
Back to the sprint racing and Craig MacLean got his revenge on the rest of the sprint field as he powered on to win the Keirin.
Scratch Race – 10km
The Scratch Race was the penultimate event of the evening and Rouleur ruled the event with Sam Harrison winning and teammate Tom Murray coming in 3rd. Steven Burke of Team Youth UK came 2nd.
Team Sprint – GB v France
The final crowd-pulling event was a two man international team sprint grudge match between Team GB and France. Riding for GB were John Paul and Dave Daniell and for France Michael D’Almeida and Thierry Jollet. It was a nail biter and the crowd really got behind the GB team but World Team Sprint Champion D’Almeida and teammate Jollet put in an impressive performance and crossed the line in 31.949 with Great Britain finishing in 31.971. A great ride by both teams and while it may have been a bit of a disappointment for the home team I came away smiling when the delightful Michael D’Almeida pulled up to the railings and handed me his winners bouquet… a true gent!
Future Stars Emily Kay & Ollie Wood - Image ©Copyright Ben Dando @ Cycling Shorts.
The team leading the Championship after the first round is Rouleur with 204 points. So our very own Tom Murray was on the podium I had a chat with him afterwards, “I’m trying to find my track legs still! So not at my best tonight, but a great result for the team, but always a good laugh doing Revolutions with a big crowd”. Emily Kay (Cunga Bikes) now leads the girls DHL future stars competition with 90 points and looks like she has no intention of giving up her long held crown. Ollie Wood (CHEP) leads the boys competition with 50 points. It looks like it’s going to be an excellent series so don’t leave it too late to book. The next meeting will be headlined by Sky’s Geraint Thomas and Mark Cavendishwith more to be announced shortly.
Image ©Copyright Ben Dando @ Cycling Shorts.
Watch highlights on Monday 31st October
at 7pm on ITV4 in the UK
To buy tickets or to find out more about the Revolution please click here.
Revolution Team Championship
2 Team UK Youth 190
3 Sky Procycling 165
4 CHEP 160
5 howies 159
6 Cunga Bikes 158
7 Maxgear Racing 154
8 Rapha Condor Sharp 132
Future Stars Girls Leader
Future Stars Boys Leader