Another generation of 'future stars' will be decided at the Manchester Velodrome this weekend in the culmination of the Revolution Future Stars competition, which has nurtured some of Britain’s most promising new talent with last season’s top riders making significant progress as part of British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme.
Steven Burke won the competition, but on paper the biggest success has been runner up Andy Tennant, who went on to take the individual pursuit title at the 2005 Junior World Championships. Tennant and Burke have also enjoyed success in the Team Pursuit taking silver at the Junior World Championships and winning the Junior European Championships. Both riders are now part of the elite field.
"The Future Stars racing provided the step up to the level I’m at now and my track skills have improved significantly over the last year," commented Burke. "It's a great experience to now be riding against so many world class riders and I’m learning from them all the time."
In its third year, the sponsorship of UK's Raleigh has made it possible to set up the competition for both girls and boys, giving more riders the chance to show their talent in a competitive arena. The first girls Future Stars competition has shown the strength of Welsh cycling, with the Welsh trio of Lucy Richards, Katie Curtis and Alex Greenfield in first, second and third places respectively.
"I think I have raced well, it hasn’t been easy and the racing was hard but I really enjoyed it," said Richards, who dominated the competition and looks set to take the first female title. "It’s good experience to race in front of a crowd like that - they really get behind you and support you, creating a great atmosphere. It's the biggest crowd I've ridden in front of; it's been fantastic."
In the boys competition, Peter Kennaugh provided an great display of racing and track skill. "I'm obviously delighted with my performance," commented Kennaugh. "Riding in front of thousands of people who pack the velodrome once a month for the Revolution series is an amazing experience, I don't even have to psyche myself up before the races because the crowd get me so fired up."
Kennaugh has strong ambitions for his career and believes the Future Stars competition is just the starting point for the Manx rider. "This year I will be riding with the Glendene CC team on the road, I will be racing in Belgium and competing in the Junior Buckly series, however my main goals this season are the World and European junior track champs with Great Britain."
The Future Stars will be part of Revolution 12. For more information, please go to www.cyclingrevolution.com.