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  Lauren Bate-Lowe Blog: Revolution Future Stars - Round 1 and 2  
  November 17th 2015 By Lauren Bate-Lowe @LaurenBateLowe  
  British Cycling Junior Academy rider Lauren Bate-Lowe has competed at the first two rounds of the Revolution Series in the Future Stars Competition.

In August Bate-Lowe claimed the British Cycling Youth National titles in the sprint and 500m time trial, while also finishing second in the junior sprint. A clean sweep of the sprint, 500m time trial and team sprint at the Sainsburys School Games in September has set her up as a name to watch among junior sprinters.

Round 1

The 24th of October was the first round of the Revolution series taking place at my home track in Manchester. I went into the day with a really positive attitude and I knew exactly what I wanted to get out of it, but I knew my biggest competitor would be Jess Roberts. The first race up was the 6 lap dash; the race I knew was the one I had a chance of winning. The race started and I found myself at the back of the bunch, I knew I was in a bad position from the start. I moved my way forward and was sat at the front of the bunch with 3 to go; now I was in a good place. When I saw 2 to go I felt this was my chance to go, I attacked off the front and straight away I knew it was a bad decision as I saw Jess and the bunch sat on my wheel, sheltering from the wind and waiting to come round me for the finish. With just half a lap to go my legs had gone, I knew there was nothing else I could do and as the bunch came around me I sat up. I was pretty gutted but I just had to focus on the next race.

The next race was the scratch race. This race was just 20 laps so the win was still in reach for me but again I had to get my positioning right and use my speed to my advantage. I was feeling pretty tired in this race so I saved myself at the back for the majority of the race, sat in the wheels and saved as much energy as possible. Again I got to the front of the race with a few laps to go but this time I sat there for a couple of laps and just kept it at my pace until I launched my attack this time with a lap and a half to go. My legs tired again with half a lap to go and I had nothing left to give at this point; I knew the bunch would come around me again. Finally, the points race and this time I knew I had nothing left in my legs and my job was to stay with the bunch for as long as possible.

Round 2

November 14th was the second round, this time taking place at the Lee Valley Velodrome in London. I was really looking forward to the races and improving on them from the last round. The first race up was the 6 lap dash again and this time I was really determined to take the win. I sat at the back for the first couple of laps and with 4 laps to go I started gradually moving up to the bunch to the front where I knew I needed to be if I was to win the race. I was on the black line at the front of the race with 2 laps to go, the perfect place for me to open up my sprint. With one lap to go I got out the saddle and accelerated as hard as I could: now the sprint had begun. I held off the bunch for the most of the lap until the final straight where three riders just managed to glide over the top of me. Georgia Hilliard - a fellow Junior Academy teammate took the win in a blanket finish. I took fourth and this really set me up for the night.

Second race of the night this time was the points race - a race I'm not really too confident with. I aimed for this race to sprint for points in the second and fourth sprint laps; however this didn't really go to plan! My legs were feeling tired from the start and the race was a fast pace; I knew it was going to be a tough race. I got stuck in and chased down the breaks in a hope to stick with them and gain some points however the pace changed so often I found myself back in the main bunch and unable to gain any points. The final race of the night was cancelled due to a crash in the boy's race, which damaged the track meaning the night was over! I was quite gutted the evening was over but kind of relieved at the same time as I didn't fancy riding a damaged track.

Since my first Revolution race as an under 14 - three years ago - I've found the series to be very valuable in my progression as a sprint cyclist. Not only does the event help my endurance throughout the winter months it also gives me the opportunity to race in tight spaces and experience being boxed in and getting out which I can then adapt to kierin racing as a sprinter. During my progression over the last three years I think the Revolution has been a big part in helping me get to where I am today. I've learnt how to race well in a bunch and how to use my head in a race with much more people than I would usually race which when you go from 20 odd riders to 8 or 2 riders it really helps make those tactics much easier to adapt. Even if my results aren't the best when racing these races it is always valuable to go and race in front of a crowd, to take away the experience and learn from my mistakes.
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