The Manchester track series, "Revolution", opens Saturday night, marking the start of international racing at the Manchester Velodrome in what will be a crucial track season building towards the Manchester World Championships and ultimately the Beijing Olympics next year.
For the British riders their goal will be Olympic selection and Revolution will provide important opportunities to impress the British Cycling management as well sizing up potential rivals. Likewise other nations are increasingly using Revolution for their own preparation with squads from USA and Ireland lined up for the first event on October 20th and more to follow through the season.
The Americans and Irish riders will certainly have their work cut out with an impressive line up including Mark Cavendish, Magnus Backstedt, Francesco Chicchi, Rob Hayles, Chris Newton and Team Pursuit World Champions Geraint Thomas and Ed Clancy. Chicchi hits the track off the back of a podium finish at Paris Tour last weekend so it will be interesting to see who will dominate the sprints especially with Cavendish back on the track for the first time this year.
Also in the line up is experienced German six-day specialist Stefan Steinweg. Steinweg was Olympic team pursuit champion back in 1992 and since then has notched up three world titles, ten World Cup titles and ten German national champion titles making him the most decorated rider on the start sheet.
On the sprint side we can expect plenty of rivalries and not just with the international challengers. With only three places up for grabs in the team sprint for the Olympics Jamie Staff, Craig MacLean and Jason Kenny will all be looking to get the upper hand early in the season. They will take on American Michael Blatchford, Spanish powerhouses Jose Antonio Escuredo and Itmar Esteban and British Junior World champions Dave Daniell, Christian Lyte and Pete Mitchell.
With three elite women's endurance events and the start of the DHL Future Stars Revolution returns with more riders, more races and more action than ever before. For a full rider list and race programme and to buy tickets go to www.cyclingrevolution.com. Tickets will also be on sale on the door.