With five successive Tour de France titles under his belt, Miguel Indurain is certainly a man who knows what he’s talking about when it comes to two wheels and a saddle.
Now, with his status as a Spanish cycling legend firmly entrenched in his locker, Indurain believes Mallorca’s very own Six Day Series Final can inspire the next level of talent from the country.
The 52-year-old remains an extremely popular figure on the streets of Palma, despite 20 years passing since his retirement, with adoring fans flocking for a glimpse, autograph and a photograph with the man loved as ‘Big Mig’ at the Porto Pi Shopping Centre, in preparation for the Six Day Series Final on the island.
But since hanging up his lycra, the Spaniard has maintained a vested interest in the sport in his country.
Founding the Miguel Indurain Foundation in 1998 to promote sport in his home region of Navarra, he has also become a Six Day ambassador – transferring his esteemed knowledge of the road onto the boards, hopeful of getting Spain's next champion riders firing on all cylinders.
And with a Spanish duo in Albert Torres and Sebastian Mora Vedri occupying a place in the Six Day Series Final line-up – as well as half the sprinters’ field hailing from the country – the initiative is certainly heading in one direction for Indurain.
“There has always been a lot of love for track cycling in Spain, and we have to support these guys between all of us so that we can get these young, talented riders through and make them really successful,” he said.
“I really love cycling! I love speed and I love wheels so when they proposed the idea for me to be a Six Day ambassador, I just said yes straight away.
“That’s what I’m trying to do here, promote cycling and a Six Day event which is not as well known in Spain.
“I love Mallorca very much, I have cycled here a lot and have some very great memories from here. I’ve been cycling quite a few times and love coming back to a place with a big tradition of indoor cycling.”
Having being crowned Tour de France general classification champion during every year from 1991 to 1995, Indurain certainly knows a good rider when he sees one.
That has left him impressed with the quality shown in the Six Day Series field, with Belgian pair Kenny de Ketele and Moreno de Pauw currently leading the way in the overall standings on 360 points.
That came after extremely impressive showings in both London and Berlin, taking the crown in both events to start Six Day events to start their season off with a bang.
But the Spaniard himself is no stranger to a Six Day event, switching out his usually-trusted road for the track to take part in the competition in Madrid – way back in 1989!
“I competed in Madrid in Six Day, and I learnt about track cycling and how different it is, but I really enjoyed it,” he continued. I wasn’t a specialist, I was young at the time, but I really enjoyed the atmosphere and cycling indoors was really great.
“It’s very special to be in Mallorca, the competition has been going on for many months and now the final is here! It started in London and Amsterdam, Berlin and Copenhagen, and now we get the final in Mallorca.
“I love the spectacularity of Six Day, it’s not just competition, competition, competition, but the mix of the spectacularity, the atmosphere that comes with it, and the people that come and enjoy everything all in one.”