A sell-out crowd packed in to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in the East End of Glasgow for the 40th Revolution meeting – the first to have been held outside Manchester. Going in to the final round of Season 10 the Elite Men’s Championship was still up for grabs with Rapha Condor JLT leading but the German Rudy Project Racing Team breathing down their necks.

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The two DHL Future Stars Championships were still undecided, too with Jessica Roberts of Raleigh GAC narrowly leading the Girls’ competition and Levi Moody of Sportscover more comfortable in the Boys’ competition, but by no  means home and dry.

Alongside the normal endurance programme, the organisers had added a very strong Sprint competition – and one with a local flavour. Starting with an 8 rider omnium – 200m qualfying, Match Sprints and a Keirin – and culminating in a Scotland vs The Rest of the World Team Sprint.

The Scotland squad featured veteran – and London Paralympic tandem Gold medalist – Craig Maclean, Bruce Croall and up and coming youngster John Paul. The Rest of the World team featured former Kilo and Keirin World Champion and Revolution favourite Teun Mulder and two young American sprinters – Kevin Mansker and Matthew Baranoski.

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But it was John Paul who was the first rider of the evening to make his mark in a very tight 200m Time Trial. The eight riders were separated by less than half a second but it was the young Scot who clocked an impressive 10.426 to top the seedings for the Match Sprints. The 19 year old American Baranoski was second on 10.535, with his compatriot Mansker on 10.610 – with Mulder just a whisker behing on 10.619.

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Some entertaining Match Sprinting – with a handful of track stands thrown in to please the crowd – saw the two top seeds progress to the final but it was the American who had the best of the Final – snatching the win on the line.

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The endurance competition began with the DHL Future Stars Boys Points Race where Levi Moody effectively clinched the Boys’ title with his third place. After taking the first sprint, Moody controlled the race and did just what he had to do to ensure the overall victory. With Thomas Rotherham taking two wins to seal the race win, Moody finished on 5 points along with his closest rival Tristan Robbins of Howies, Matt Gibson of WD 40 and Joe Evans of Rudy Project Racing.

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The Girls 6 Lap Dash was less conclusive. Where the Boys tend to ride the six lappers flat out from the gun, the girls tend to be cagier – jockeying for position before battling it out over the last three or four hundred metres. Not tonight, though – they went from the off and Emily Nelson’s win for IG Sigmasport, following strong showings in the previous rounds, kept her in contention for the overall. A fifth for Howies’ Emily Haycox kept her in the hunt, too – and it was Roberts, who dominated the opening round, that was starting to look vulnerable back in seventh place.

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In between the opening rounds of the youth races, the Elite competition kicked off with the perennial 6 Day favourite – and Olympic Omnium opener – the Flying Lap. One for the ‘sprindurance’ riders, Ed Clancy started as favourite, but there were some quick times set early on. Indeed, it was a sprinter-turned-endurance-rider – IG Sigmasport’s Ross Edgar – who was the first to dip under 14 seconds – taking the lead with a 13.887.

Academy rider Chris Latham – riding for Maxgear – also went under 14 seconds, but his 13.979 wasn’t enough to trouble Edgar. It wasn’t much slower than Rudy Project Racing’s Nico Hesslich, though. The son of Lutz Hesslich – Olympic Sprint Champion in 1980 and 1988 for East Germany – clocked a 13.954 to slot in to second place.

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That just left endurance-rider-turned-team-sprinter Clancy to go and his sensational 13.546 set the pattern for rest of the evening.

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The first round of the Madison kilometre Time Trial competition only saw one of the pairs go under the one minute mark with Jacob Ragan and Jody Cundy setting the benchmark for the second, seeded batch of riders. The FACE Partnership duo’s 59.128 was ultimately good enough for fifth place – albeit some three seconds off the winners’ time.

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The first duo of the second batch – Maxgear’s Chris Latham and Simon Yates – knocked Ragan and Cundy off the top of the pile with a 58.630, but it was the final three pairings that started to take big chunks of time out of the leaders. World Champions in the Team Pursuit, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant guaranteed themselves a top three finish for Rouleur with a 57.278. Hesslich and Christian Grassman of Rudy Project Racing shaved a tenth of that to go top with a 57.110.

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Whatever Clancy and team mate James McCallum could come up with, it would have to be pretty special to beat that. They were down after Clancy’s opening lap but just ahead by the perfectly timed change. By the line, McCallum had squeezed another tenth or so out and they finished with a time of 56.928. Before the Elite battle recommenced with the Elimination the youngsters were back on track.

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Almost unbeatable over the shorter distances this year, Thomas Rotherham was favourite for the Six Lap Dash but in the end it was Moody that took it from Louis Magnani of Raleigh GAC. But, with the rest of the field having failed
to work out over the four rounds that if Rotherham’s still there at the bell, it’s all over, he took the Scratch Race.

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Also finishing the evening in style was Haycox who took the Points Race and then added the to her tally in the Scratch race with a fine solo effort. It was enough to secure her the overall series win – and take the team title for Howies after team mate Tristan Robbins had racked up the points in pursuit of Moody.

The title race was kept alive in the Elite Points race with Clancy’s 8 point margin on the track only translating in to a single series point advantage over second placed Christian Grassman.

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The nearest we came to a shock all evening was in the Elmination Race where Clancy went out relatively early, leaving Hesslich to take the win from team mate Grassman – which, even with McCallum’s second place meant that Rudy Project Racing took a 12 point bite out of Rapha Condor’s series lead. That left the Scratch race and a 16 point gap for Rudy Project Racing to close to snatch the title away from Rapha Condor JLT.

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And, for a long time, it looked like they might with Grassman and Hesslich taking turns to try to control the race – Hesslich opening out a three quarters of a lap gap with Jacob Ragan at one point. Inevitably, though, the chase back came and the race came back together for the final gallop with Clancy, yet again, proving too strong for the rest of the field – taking his third win of the evening and the overall win.

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Baranoski’s great form continued with another win over John Paul in the Keirin – with  Mansker again in the hunt with a strong third place.

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Moody and Haycox were presented with their prizes for taking the DHL Future Stars competition – with Haycox’ Howies squad taking the team competition. Grassman and Hesslich took the plaudits for the Glasgow round and McCallum and Clancy celebrated their overall series win with the traditional champagne fountains.

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Then it was back to the track for the final race of the evening – the Team Sprint between Scotland and the Rest of the World. Baranoski topped off a superb evening, riding man two in the winning Rest of the World Team who comfortably outpaced the Scottish 46.360 to 47.027 and, although it wasn’t the result the crowd wanted, they were happy to have seen Craig Maclean in action again and filed out of the velodrome contented.

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Next season Revolution is due to spread its wings further still – subject to the Olympic Velodrome re-opening on schedule – adding London to a three city programme. On this evidence, that will only help take the competition to the next level. Bring it on!

Race Winners
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Elite Men
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Sprint Omnium
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DHL Future Stars Boys
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DHL Future Stars Girls
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