Irish duo join Six Day London 2017 party
22 August 2017
Six Day London will welcome its first Irish pairing to the boards of the Lee Valley VeloPark velodrome in October as Felix English and Mark Downey join the 2017 party.
With Mark Cavendish and Australians Cameron Meyer and Callum Scotson, half of last year’s men’s podium have already signed up to race again in 2017.
And with English and Downey – who picked up gold and silver medals in last season’s Madison World Cup – now added to the field, it is already looking like another stellar roster.
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The duo won silver in the third round of the World Cup, in Colombia, in February, before following it up just the next week with gold in Los Angeles.
Aged just 24 and 21, English and Downey are new to the Six Day scene, having only competed in Italian races last season.
But a Madison win and a second-place overall finish in Torino show their burgeoning pedigree in the sport – with an appearance at Six Day London always having been an ambition for them.
“Throughout the year Felix and I had a bit of a chat to see if we could get our name onto the Six Day scene, and so we managed to get in,” said Downey.
“I was there in 2015, and I always remember being there and thinking how much I would to love to actually ride and lead a senior event – so to get the confirmation email is great, I am delighted to hear it.
“I sat and watched it on the TV last year and all the riders are guys I look up to and admire, now I am going to be competing against them.
“It is going to be one of those days in your career when you just enjoy it, and I think I will remember it for the rest of my life.”
The pair have been receiving coaching in Six Day’s signature event, the Madison, from former Spanish world Madison champion David Muntaner, and it has clearly been paying off.
English freely admits they took some time to get accustomed to the nature of an international Madison race, but he now feels at home and can hand-sling with the best of them.
“It definitely took time to get used to, we train really hard so we were strong enough, but it was frustrating because we weren’t doing very well at first,” he said.
“We really, really, didn’t know what we were doing, but it’s probably my favourite event now, the most fun and once you get the hang of it it’s really exciting.
“We watched Six Day London last year and we’ve done a few smaller Six Days in Italy now, so we have a bit of experience and we’re really looking forward to it.
“We’re hoping to do well. We come straight from the European Championships into London and we know a lot of the riders now who race in Six Days, so we’re excited for it.”
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