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London Six Day preview

George Wallis-Ryder
25 Oct 2016

Cavendish and Wiggins headline Six Day racing’s return to London’s Olympic Velodrome.

The first round of the 2016/17 Six Day series kicks off tonight at London’s Lee Valley velodrome, boasting one of the strongest start lists that the event has seen in recent years.

Bradley Wiggins will be looking for the perfect ‘victory lap’ as he competes in his final track event on British soil, pairing up with fellow headliner Mark Cavendish.

The duo will hope to repeat the sort of performance that bagged them World Championship Gold in the Madison event during the World Track Cycling Championships in March this year.

Full line up

1. Mark Cavendish & Sir Bradley Wiggins (GBR)
2. Kenny de Ketele & Moreno de Pauw (BEL)
3. Yoeri Havik & Wim Stroetinga (NED)
4. Leif Lampater & Marcel Kalz (GER)
5. Albert Torres & Sebastian Mora Vedri (ESP)
6. Morgan Kneisky & Benjamin Thomas (FRA)
7. Marc Hester & Jesper Morkov (DEN)
8. Andreas Muller & Andreas Graf (AUT)
9. Ollie Wood & Jon Dibben (GBR)
10. Cameron Meyer & Callum Scotson (AUS)
11. Alex Buttazzoni & Fracesco Lamon (ITA)
12. Casper Pederson & Alex Rasmussen (DEN)
13. Jens Mouris & Pim Ligthart (NED)
14. Christian Grasmann & Max Beyer (GER)
15. Tristan Marguet & Claudio Imhoff (SUI)
16. Andy Tennant & Chris Latham (GBR)

London Six Day: What is a Six Day event?

Six Day track cycling was born in London in 1878, after the English cycling champion David Stanton wagered that he could cycle 1,000 miles over the course of six successive days.

He completed the task in only five, but drew so much public attention that further Six Day events were planned with a greater number of riders competing.

Modern Six Day racing predominantly takes place in continental Europe, with events taking place in Amsterdam, Ghent, Copenhagen and Berlin.

London Six Day: The Racing

Six Day racing is a team competition, with each team being made up of two riders. Every night a mixture of sprint and endurance races take place, with the goal for the riders to ‘take a lap’ on the rest of the field to push themselves up the overall standings.

Madison: Riding in pairs, each team member takes it in turns to ride laps of the track before tagging in their partner by way of a ‘hand-sling.’ In the first Madison event of the competition, the goal is for each rider to accrue points by winning intermediate sprints. The second Madison race, usually the last event of the whole Six Day event, the riders focus solely on taking laps from their opponents.

Elimination Race: Every two laps the rider in the last position is eliminated, and when only two riders remain, a final sprint takes place to determine the winner of the maximum points. Only one rider per team competes in the Elimination Race, and riders cannot take a lap over their opponents.

Derny Race: One rider from each of the top eight teams races in the slipstream of a motorised derny bike. In this fast and tactical race, the first derny and rider pairing to cross the line after the allotted amount of laps is the winner. The relationship between the derny pilot and rider is usually a close one, as pacing strategy is key to ensure victory.

Team Time-Trial: Each pairing takes to the track alone, with the first rider giving an all out effort for one lap, before hand-slinging their partner who completes the two lap time trial. The team with the quickest time earn themselves maximum points.

Super Sprint: Similar to the elimination race, the last rider is withdrawn on ‘elimination’ laps, however unlike the elimination race, when only six teams remain, a ‘Super Sprint’ takes place to the finish line for maximum points.

London Six Day: Where and when?

The London edition of Six Day racing is taking place between the 25th and the 30th of October, at the Lee Valley VeloPark at Queen Elizabeth Park. Doors open each night at 5:30pm with tickets available from Ticketmaster.

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