The penultimate round of the 2013-14 Revolution Series took place in Manchester on Saturday night and the now established two session format saw another sensational Points Race ride from Peter Kennaugh – albeit not quite as dominant as in the previous round. And the evening session had the usual mix of Endurance, Sprint and Future Stars competition. With the race for the Elite Men’s team competition and both the Future Stars Boys and Girls championships still wide open, who will head for the Finale at the London Olympic velodrome in March in pole position?
As ever, the afternoon session kicked off with the qulifying 200m Time Trial to seed the UCI Sprint competitions. As the riders honed their form ahead of February’s UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Cali, Colombia in March, would qualifying give any indication of the GB’s squad’s lkely competitiveness?
In the Women’s event, reigning World Champion Becky James raised a few eyebrows, qualifying only fourth – behind three of her GB team mates. Her time of 11.306 was seven hundredths off Junior World Champion Dani Khan. Another two hundredths seperated Khan and Vicky Williamson in second with Jess Varnish almost nine hundredths quicker at the top of the timesheets.
Callum Skinner was fastest of the Men’s Sprint competitors – again – with a 10.004. Olympic Sprint Champion Jason Kenny was second on 10.053 with Matt Crampton (10.072), Kian Emadi (10.170) and Phillip Hindes (10.171) completing a GB top 5.
Five riders managed to dip under 14 seconds in the Flying Lap with Sam Harrison and Steven Burke two tenths apart in second and third places – on 13.549 and 13.354 respectively. Ed Clancy, as he has been all season, was in a class of his own – the Rapha Condor JLT rider setting a time of 13.250.
With a World Championship programme on the horizon that will almost certainly include the Omnium as well as the Team Pursuit, Laura Trott of Wiggle Honda will have been keen to get a handle on her own form and she opened up with a dominant win in the Points Race. Scoring in all but one of the sprints – and winning four of the ten – she also took two laps on all but Team Pursuit team mates Katie Archibald and Dani King.
Trott clinched the last sprint of the race to win by 19 points from Archibald with King – tied on points with the young Scot – losing out by virtue of having finished behind her in the final sprint.
The chances of Sky’s Peter Kennaugh being allowed to lap the field seven times again were slim and, indeed, this time he was only allowed to slip away five times… He was still able to amass 147 points thanks to a remarkable run which saw some him only fail to score once between sprints four and fifteen – and winning six and coming second five times in that run.
Mark Stewart of Scotland came home second – 65 points and four laps back with George Atkins and Yoeri Havik of the Netherlands 13 points back – Atkins clinching third with a single point in the final sprint of the evening.