Revolution is a series of track cycling events held at the Manchester Velodrome in the north west of England. It is held annually, in the winter, during the track cycling season. The series comprises 4 meetings each year, held between October and February, on Saturday evenings. The series showcases various top cyclists, both British and other international riders, regularly attracting a large number of spectators.
The series was founded in 2003, with the main aim of providing regular track cycling events for fans to attend in Manchester. Previously, track cycling fans were generally only able to attend one international event in Manchester each year, usually a round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics series, or as in 2000, the UCI Track Cycling World Championships. The only other events held regularly at the velodrome were events such as the British National Track Championships, which have a lower profile and therefore attracted smaller crowds.
The first event was held in October 2003 and was attended by a good sized crowd. The event featured big British names like Bradley Wiggins, Rob Hayles, Chris Newton and David Millar. The event continued to grow in stature and profile from this solid start, exceeding expected attendance targets along the way. Revolution 7 in early 2005 saw the series achieve its first near capacity crowd, the start of the event had to be delayed to allow the crowds into the venue. Revolution 14 was the series’ first complete sell out, with some ticketless fans turned away. From early 2008 onwards the events began to sell out in advance.
Each meeting features a main Revolution Sprint competition, alongside other various events including the Keirin and Team sprint. The sprint competition is usually a straight knock out event, typically with a first round, Semi Final and Final. For some events a sprint ominium has taken place, with all riders facing each other at some point during the evening and the most successful winning overall. A male sprinting competition usually takes place at each event, with Women’s sprinting generally appearing for one event each year also.
Every Revolution event has included elite endurance field of riders, racing over a number of events throughout the night. Events featured include the Points race, Scratch race, Madison, Individual pursuit, Team pursuit, Motor Paced Scratch race and Devil Elimination Scratch race. Typically the blue ribbon Madison feature race takes place once a year and is named the Isaac Galvez Memorial Madison. This is in memory of the Spanish rider who died during the Ghent Six Day meeting in 2006 while he was World Madison Champion. This was one week before he was due to appear at Revolution 15.
As well including the major events from the World Championships and Olympics, the Revolution series also tries to feature some unique and exclusive races at its events. The Madison 1 km Time Trial is one such exclusive event. This event is a major crowd pleaser and takes place at each event. This is run over 1 km, four laps of the track, and consists of two riders running 2 laps each. After the first rider has completed their laps they do a Madison hand sling with their partner and they then complete the final two laps. While this by nature is an endurance riders event, its 1 kilometre distance has also meant that sprinters have also tasted success.
Alongside the senior racing, the Future Stars competition also runs at each Revolution event. This series involves young riders, usually 14-16 year olds. They are put through a number of races each night to test both their sprint and endurance skills. Points are scored in each race and count towards the overall leader board. The winner is crowned at the end of the 4 meeting series.