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.
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.
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.
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