Today, April 24, is exactly six months to go until the start of Six Day London 2017, and to mark this momentous occasion, we’re going to give you a run down of six things to look out for in the build up to the track cycling event of the year in October.
Now we know those six months are primarily over the summer, so there is not much track action to sink your teeth into, but don’t let that worry you, because our Six Day stars can rock it on the road too.
April – Tour de Yorkshire
It may have only begun in 2015, but the Tour de Yorkshire is already one of the most anticipated races of the year for cycling fans.
Won by Lars Petter Nordhaug in its first year, and by French cult hero Thomas Voeckler in 2016, being crowned the king of Yorkshire is a sought after prize.
And there’s no shortage of Six Day interest this year, with five Six Day Series riders on the provisional startlist.
Adam Blythe and Gijs van Hoecke, from the 2015 edition, will be racing for Aqua Blue Sport and Team Lotto NL Jumbo respectively, while Yoeri Havik and Sebastian Mora Vedri will both be turning out for Raleigh GAC.
And Jon Dibben, partner of Ollie Wood in 2016, will be representing Team Sky in his first year as a pro, while in the women’s race, Giorgia Bronzini will be racing for Wiggle High5.
May – Giro d’Italia
The first of the year’s three Grand Tours, the Giro D’Italia is the first true showdown of the world’s top stage racers, over punishing terrain and some of Europe’s highest peaks.
This year marks the 100th edition of the race, with it kicking off on May 5 and running for three weeks until May 28.
And Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas – a double Olympic and three-time world champion on the track – has targeted the race as a potential first Grand Tour victory, so there is sure to be plenty of interest in the race.
June – Criterium du Dauphine
A one-week stage race running from June 4-11, the Dauphine is a traditional warm up for the Tour de France and in recent years has proved Chris Froome’s favourite pre-Tour hunting ground.
Run over similar, if not exactly the same roads, as the Tour de France will be just a month later, the Dauphine is a true test of a racers chances in the biggest race of them all.
With four hilly stages, one individual time trial and three days in the Alps, the race is not one for sprinters.
July – Tour de France
Starting on July 1, the biggest race in the world attracts the cream of the world’s cycling talent – be they climbers, sprinters, domestiques or time trial specialists.
We had all been looking forward to seeing if Mark Cavendish could surpass Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins – but with the Manx Missile currently laid low and recovering from a bout of glandular fever, we may have to wait another year.
But with Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana going head to head, and the chasing pack nipping at their heels, the racing is sure to be explosive as the Brit chases a fourth title and the Colombian is after a first.
August – Vuelta a Espana
The final Grand Tour of the season, the Vuelta used to be a second thought at the end of year, but no more as the Spanish race produces some of the most exciting racing of all the Grand Tours.
With racers looking to salvage their season after a disappointing Tour, or those coming in refreshed after a summer off following a ride at the Giro, sparks are sure to fly in the Spanish heat.
September – Road World Championships
Bringing the curtain down on the road season, the World Championships take place in Bergen, Norway, with the course sure to give a variety of racers a chance of victory.
Following last year’s pan-flat race through the Doha desert, Bergen sees the World Championships return to more familiar rolling roads – offering plenty of chances for riders to launch attacks and get their hands on a coveted rainbow jersey.