The Revolution of Ed Clancy

The Revolution of Ed Clancy

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Ahead of round two of the 2014/15 series, we look at one of Revolution's stalwarts, Ed Clancy, whose remarkable career has blossomed alongside the smash hit track event.

Great Britain Cycling Team’s Ed Clancy is one of a number of star home-grown talents featuring at round two of the 2014/15 Revolution Series, which takes place on Saturday 22 November in Manchester.

The five-time world champion has had a long association with the event and Clancy’s successful career neatly mirrors the growth of the Revolution series, which began one winter evening in Manchester and has now grown into a global entity attracting the world’s top road and track riders.

Ed Clancy's Revolution timeline


  • The first Revolution event is held at the National Cycling Centre, Manchester in October 2003 and initial worries about the event being a gamble are soon dispelled as cycling fans emphatically vote with their feet.
  • Top stars David Millar and Craig MacLean famously ride in fancy dress (Superman and The Incredible Hulk, respectively).
  • An eighteen-year-old Clancy rides the series as a first year senior and is overawed by the experience.

Clancy: "For us it was a pretty daunting experience - the Revolution has grown over the years but even then it was pretty much a sell-out crowd.

"The combination of riding around with the likes of David Millar and Bradley Wiggins and a big sell-out crowd, it was pretty daunting back then but a great experience nonetheless." 


  • Clancy, then 20, won his first world team pursuit title alongside Steve Cummings, Paul Manning, Chris Newton and Rob Hayles, Clancy helping the team to qualify for the gold-medal ride against the Netherlands.
  • Revolution had grown to such an extent that the 2005 season saw the event’s first capacity crowds, with the start delayed to allow the crowd into the Manchester venue.
  • Clancy, along with a young Mark Cavendish set the Madison time trial record at 58.5 seconds, a benchmark that would stand for two years until Craig MacLean and Arnaud Tournant raised the bar to 55.1 seconds.

"For the Madison kilo me and Cav had plenty of top-end power. Cav still does and I've always enjoyed the kilo. The Madison kilo was perfect for us; we could really challenge all the established riders there.

"We made the most out of it, we got our rollers out, we did a proper warm-up, we put bigger gears on and in training we were really thinking about where we could do our change and how can we chop a tenth off.”


  • Revolution sees its first sell-out events, prompting organisers to begin plans to expand the programme
  • The event goes global, with Revolution Australia taking place in Melbourne in November 2007
  • Away from Revolution, Clancy wins his second team pursuit world title, following a clean sweep of victories in the preceding four-round UCI Track Cycling World Cup series.

"2007 was an exciting year. Myself and Geraint Thomas had both been in the team 2005 and 2006 and both there or thereabouts but not really good enough to make it.

“I'm not sure what we did that summer but when we hit the winter of 2007 it wasn't just a case of trying to make the team anymore. Me and Geraint Thomas were the team."


  • Clancy takes his third world team pursuit title in front of a home crowd in Manchester in January.
  • In February, Clancy saw further time shaved off ‘his’ Revolution Madison time trial record, with Chris Hoy and Arnaud Tournant stopping the clock at 54.549 seconds. But history would show that the story wasn’t over…
  • In August, Clancy claimed his first Olympic gold medal in the team pursuit in Beijing, setting a world record time of 3:53.314 alongside Paul Manning, Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins.

Clancy on the chance taking back his Madison time trial record: "I thought it would be difficult - truth be told it's a one-kilometre race and if two sprinters really get on it and put their minds to it they can go fast.

“But I always thought we could go faster than we had done in the past. Me and Burkey (Steven Burke) got close to it a couple of times but we never quite got it. We always try our best when we do these Revolutions and I finally got it back in January with a completely new generation of rider.”


  • Clancy repeats his feat of world and Olympic team pursuit gold from 2008, and adds Olympic omnium bronze to his already bulging palmares.
  • The Revolution series gets its own ITV highlights package, allowing cycling headline writers everywhere to finally pen ‘The Revolution will be televised.’
  • Clancy’s Rapha Condor Sharp squad dominates the opening round of the 2012/13 Revolution series, his London 2012 form still very much in evidence.

"I remember riding the Revolution in Manchester with (Andy) Tennant in the Madison kilo and the crowd was right behind us.

“It was nice to be able to relax and enjoy the racing knowing that we'd done the business in the biggest race we'd ever be in. That was a pretty cool moment."


  • The Revolution series expands to six rounds across three iconic British track venues.
  • After a six-year wait, Clancy, along with former Revolution Future Stars champion Oliver Wood, retakes the Madison time trial record in a stunning time of 54.537.
  • Clancy misses the first round of the 2014/15 Revolution season due to illness but returns to Manchester 11 years after his first appearance in the event.

Clancy on his future and that of the Revolution:

"For myself whilst I'm doing alright and enjoying what I'm doing, I'll keep doing it. We know that involves Rio. I'm pretty sure that involves Tokyo. I'll be 35 then, so I'll have to see where I'm at."

"In terms of where Revolution's at - I know that James Pope does a great job of promoting it. Every year he throws in different events and different line-ups and keeps it fresh so long may it continue.”

Reports and reaction from round two of the 2014/15 Revolution will appear on the British Cycling website.

Revolution round two rider list

For further information on the Revolution series, go to the event website.

British Cycling Fan