IT’S that time of year again that every track cycling fan - and, certainly, every track rider - looks forward to: the Revolution series is back.
The first one of the season is this Saturday in Manchester and, after the great summer we have just had in Rio, I think everyone if looking forward to it even more than usual.
There’s a new format this year, with the Revolution series even heading over to Paris for a weekend in November, and I think it’s fair to say that the organisers do a great job of keeping the competition fresh for riders and spectators alike.
Certainly, I think I speak for all track riders when I say we love the Revolution series.
The velodromes are always packed, there are a lot of familiar family and friends in the stands and the racing is full-on.
Don’t make any mistake, the racing is as competitive as any you will see on the track racing circuit but it’s just a lot more fun than it is racing at big Worlds or European finals.
Everyone still tries their absolute maximum but there just isn’t that stress level and pressure that you get at major international competition where your job and your future can depend on a couple of minutes - or even less - of pedalling.
Here, we can enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the camaraderie with old friends and foes and enjoy local, knowledgable home crowds who cheer on everyone.
In many ways, it’s like being a kid riding track league again because they pack the events in and there is a lot of racing in one night, for the enduro guys anyway. I might end up doing a points race, a flying lap, a scratch, a devil, a Madison kilo … the laps and the miles soon add up.
This year I’m riding again for my friends at Team PedalSure who have been great supporters of the Revolution for a few years now.
While I remember, they’ve given me a few tickets to give away so feel free to go onto my Instagram or twitter pages for a chance to win them.
They also have some class riders lined up for me as my team mates throughout the series - this week it’s a Dutch guy Yoeri Havik who I’ve raced against before - and I think over the series, I’ll also be riding with experienced Six Day riders like Iljo Keisse and Wim Stroetinga.
There will be a lot of guys and girls back, riding for the first time since Rio this weekend so the atmosphere will be particularly good and I’m looking forward, in particular, to racing against my own road team - Team WIGGINS - who have Sam Harrison and gold medalist Owain Doull in their line-up.
Talking of the Olympics and, like everyone else, I’ve been glued to the TV the past week watching the Paralympics and yet more British success in Rio. I can hardly say it’s been unexpected but riders like Jody Cundy and Dame Sarah Storey really are legends and great role models who do our sport - never mind para sport - proud.
Aside from that, most of my time of late has been spent carrying on with plans for our wedding next month, nursing Lauren through having her wisdom teeth out and trying to get some fitness back.
On Sunday, the day after Rev, I’m getting a few more miles in riding with my friends from Pedalsure at their Foxhills Sportive in Surrey so, if you’re passing or riding in it, be sure to say hello.
And, in the meantime, don’t forget to enter my competition to win tickets for the Revolution in Manchester on Saturday.