Capital cyclist Callum Skinner admits that he will be riding into the unknown when he lines up at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow for tomorrow’s fourth round of the Revolution Series.
The 22-year-old was in scintillating form in the latter part of 2014, bagging four British titles, powering to victory in the kilometre time trial at the European Track Championships and linking up with Olympic gold medallists Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes to take the team sprint honours at the UCI World Cup in Mexico.
However, the momentum was lost when he and several Great Britain colleagues picked up a bug on that trip and produced sub-par results in the subsequent round in London.
Now, he is back to full fitness and is ready to go against a field that features Kenny, riders from the Czech Republic, Netherlands and Canada. Several other British competitors including his former City of Edinburgh colleague John Paul are also taking part.
“I’m not really sure what to expect – if my run of form over the season could continue I would be really happy,” said Skinner, who rides for Rigmar Racers. “Over the past month things have really improved.
“I recently came back from a two-week training camp in Valencia. The warm weather and change of scenery can make for a really productive training environment.”
Tomorrow’s competition offers Skinner a marker on his progress towards securing selection for the World Championships in Paris next month.
“I have a kilo place with my name on it as a result of being European Champion, so hopefully I’ll be there to contest at least that event,” he added. “As for the other events, it’s up to the selectors and, as ever, the internal competition for race places in British cycling is fierce, so we’ll just have to see. I’m really hoping for Man 3 in the team sprint.”
Several of Skinner’s Scotland team-mates from the Commonwealth Games will also be back in action tomorrow for the first major event to take place at the venue since last summer.
Among those looking to rekindle the atmosphere of July will be City of Edinburgh’s Louise Haston. A double silver medallist in paracycling events with Aileen McGlynn, Haston will be competing solo in the women’s endurance events against a field featuring Commonwealth road race champion Lizzie Armistead, Belgians Sarah Inglebrecht and Molly Meyvisch, and several Scots. The home riders will include Haston’s clubmate Jenny Davis, as well as their former City of Edinburgh colleagues Kayleigh Brogan and Charline Joiner.
Among the men’s endurance competitors, will be the Rigmar Racers duo Jack Barrett and Phil Trodden. The latter acquitted himself well and achieved admirable results against full-time riders in the previous rounds.
Meanwhile, Capital teenager Matthias Barnet will clash with leading youngsters from both sides of the border in the Future Stars races.