WAKEFIELD cycling ace Oliver Wood is set for one of his biggest weekends in the saddle.
The Wrenthorpe pedal pusher will go wheel-to-wheel with some of the sport’s biggest stars in the first round of the Revolution Series, the world’s only elite track league, after being named in the two-man Sportscover-Altura team.
Big names such as Olympic gold medallists Ed Clancy and Steven Burke, as well as Team Sky’s British Time Trial champion Alex Fawcett and Paralympic bronze medallist Jody Cundy, will be among the 24-rider line-up at the sold-out National Cycling Centre in Manchester on Saturday night.
Team Pursuit world champion Andy Tennant is also in the 12-team event, making it the most high-profile competition the Outwood Grange Academy student, who has been racing in junior races for the majority of his blossoming career, will have been involved in.
The 16-year-old will be the youngest rider competing by a distance and, although not expecting to secure surprise victories in the five races, he’ll be hoping to make a name for himself on the elite cycling circuit with impressive rides and gain invaluable experience from the night.
His Sportscover-Altura team-mate will be Alistair Slater and the pair will compete in a flying lap time trial, a 1km Madison, Scratch race, Elimination race and Points race on the night.
Wood will go into the event boosted by the news that he’s been accepted on to British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme for a second year.
His first year on the programme was marred by a broken arm sustained during competition in the Tour of Istria in Croatia, a Junior Nations Cup event.
But the speedster has returned to top gear at just the right time, with encouraging performances at the National Youth and Junior Track Championships and National Junior and Youth Madison Championships.
Wood competed in the Future Stars category of the series last year, for junior riders, and finished second overall.
Saturday night’s event is the first of four rounds. The second round takes place on Saturday, December 1 with two more rounds next year in Manchester and Glasgow.
The highlights will be screened on ITV4 next Wednesday night.
See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest sports news from around the district.