The first Revolution meting in Derby produced some excellent performances. With the meet doubling as a World Cup qualifier, there was an unusual number of timed events, which generated some change in the All-time top 20 rankings.
In the men’s individual pursuit Matt Gibson produced what was probably the stand-out performance of the weekend with a 4:21.295 that moved him into 10th place All-Time. In the process he edged ahead of Owain Doull, who was also his victim in the Derby final.
Another new entrant was Germain Burton who leaped to 17th with a 4:25.66 in qualifying. The strength of the Academy boys was underlined when Gibson and Burton teamed with Mark Stewart and Oliver Wood for a 4:01 that gave them silver behind the senior team’s tremendous 3:54.
With a year to go to Rio, it will be interesting to see if Gibson can force his way into the Olympic line-up.
The men’s Kilo also saw some quick times. Callum Skinner posted a 61.135 for the win and though that was not his fastest ever it was still the 10th fastest ride ever by a Brit. Only Chris Hoy and Skinner himself have been quicker at sea-level.
If that ride suggested Skinner might be favorite for the Man 3 spot in the Team Sprint (not contested in Derby), then Lewis Oliva did enough to suggest he won’t roll-over without a fight. His 62.749 was a Welsh record (displacing Sam Harrison), a big pb and moved him to 12th All-Time. But Oliva wasn’t done yet, and led qualifying in the men’s sprint with a sea-level pb of 10.069, ahead of Skinner on 10.088. Both youngsters made it to the final, besting a field that included Olympic Champ Jason Kenny and fabulous Frenchman Francois Pervis.
Among the ladies, Kay Marchant was the standout. Her 34.117 was a pb, cementing her 4th place in the All-Time rankings and the 7th fastest ride by a Brit in history. Even better, only Pendleton (twice) and Varnish (once) have ever been faster at sea-level.
In the pursuit, Ciara Horne (3:37) and Emily Kay (3:42) both moved up the rankings in qualifying, but Joanna Rowsell triumphed in the final.
Marchant also triumphed in the sprint and the kierin, marking herself as a potential bolter for selection Rio.
There were other great showings in Derby, more on that later.