The promoters of this month's Revolution track meeting are talking up the prospect of a "potentially explosive" encounter between British Kilo champ Jamie Staff and US Sprint champion Michael Blatchford at the Manchester Velodrome on October 20.
The riders clashed at the LA World Cup in 2006 when Staff was knocked off his bike in a coming together with Blatchford during a Sprint qualification race. After the incident Staff threw his helmet at the American, which resulted in his ejection from the competition. You can read more about the LA argy-bargy here. A press release issued today by Face Partnership claims: "the riders haven't seen each other since and with plenty of tension between the two the scene is set for an epic GB verses USA head to head."
As if to ratchet up that tension (perceived or actual), the release goes on to quote Staff as saying: "The track is a dangerous place, and I don't take kindly to people risking my health in or out of competition. I'm over it now and hopefully at Revolution I'll win, if I have an ounce of speed I should beat him."
Blatchford, however, appears more sanguine about both the incident and the prospect of meeting Staff. "In the heat of competition a lot can happen" he said. "With regard to the LA World Cup, the officials ruled on any deemed infractions which both parties abided by. The truth is, ever since I met Jamie in Encino, California I have held him in high respect and always strived to achieve the level of ability and success he has had. What is past is past and I look forward to a rematch."
Staff and Blatchford will meet in a Match sprint and a Keirin event in which 2004 Keirin World Champion Jose Antonio Escuredo and team mate Itmar Esteban will also compete. Other riders in the event will include British stars Craig MacLean, Jason Queally and Jason Kenny will be joined by Junior World Champions Dave Daniell, Christian Lyte and Pete.
Tickets for Revolution on October 20 are on sale at www.cyclingrevolution.com or by calling 07005 942 579 or 0161 223 2244.