Bradley Wiggins made his first return to the track since winning gold with the Great Britain pursuit team at the European Track Championships earlier this month at round 2 of the Revolution Series on Saturday, winning the final event of the night in the elimination race. Wiggins also placed second in the points race behind former Sky teammate Elia Viviani as he prepares for the first of the three Track World Cup events before the London World Championships in March.
"The European Track Championships was the first phase with me being back in the team pursuit squad, so we ticked that one off," Wiggins told The Telegraph. "Now we've done Revolution tonight and next up is the Track World Cup in Cali, then we'll be building towards the world championships in London in March which will be really big."
With the second round of the 2015-16 Revolution Series in Manchester being televised live on Eurosport, Wiggins explained that despite it feeling like it was only yesterday that he started his Track career - which saw him win three Olympic gold medals and six rainbow jerseys in the velodrome - the growth of the sport has been phenomenal.
"It's 20 years now since I first got on this track – it only feels like yesterday, it's flown by – and 12 years since I rode the first Revolution in 2003," Wiggins said. "It's good to be back. It's always nice to ride here and it's good seeing how much the sport has moved on since then. This is the norm now: Saturday night is live televised bike racing in front of a full crowd.
"Everywhere we go now it's a full house for cycling. We had the London Six and then the Revolution here in Manchester which has been brilliant. It's nice to have seen it through the ages."
Last week saw the return of six day racing in the UK with the Six Day London - a sign of the growing appetite for track racing in Great Britain. Along with the Revolution Series it creates an atmosphere that both the crowd and riders alike feel more than comfortable in, Wiggins noted.
"Seeing all the fans in their supporters' T-shirts following different teams, it's nice. It's good for the public, too. It's quite a relaxed atmosphere and we're able to meet the fans and sign things, which you can't do at a Track World Cup because they can't get that close to you."
Wiggins retired from road racing earlier this year after Paris-Roubaix with Team Sky, switching to his WIGGINS Continental team as he eyes up gold in the team pursuit at next year's Rio Olympic Games. Fellow WIGGINS teammate Owain Doull was Wiggins' partner in the madison as the duo finished in third place while Andy Tennant and Jon Dibben also represented the squad in Manchester, although Tennant was in PedalSure colours.