Stars of Six Day: Kirsten Wild
04 June 2018
Kirsten Wild is no stranger to the Six Day track – and there are few who come anywhere near to the countless appearances she has made at the event.
With Olympic experience representing the Netherlands at London 2012, as well as a world scratch title from 2015 and a 2016 omnium silver, when in form she is one of the most feared riders in any race.
So far 2018 has already seen her pick up a hatful medals all over the world – a haul she will be looking to add to later on this year when the Six Day Series returns.
When the going gets tough, the tough go Wild
Wild is indisputably one of the most experienced and successful riders on the Six Day circuit.
And at last year’s Six Day London, her hard graft paid off as she reached the podium in the women’s 20km Madison.
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Riding alongside long-time Dutch partner Nina Kessler, a bronze medal was only just the beginning of the success she has enjoyed.
Their impressive performance edged out Allison Beveridge and Jasmin Duehring, who finished four points adrift of them in fourth.
The same gap applied between third and second place, which was claimed by Katie Archibald and Lydia Boylan.
At the top of the podium was Neah Evans and Emily Nelson, who scored an incredible 42 race points – and 50 classification points – to secure their Six Day title.
Rainbow colours suit Kirsten to perfection
In her first race in the world champion’s rainbow jersey, Wild was desperate to deliver at the Six Day Series final – and it’s fair to say she ticked those boxes and more just last month.
Wild didn’t need to be wearing her new colours for her class to shine through as she joined a breakaway group of five with just 1km remaining in the opening scratch race and held firm at the front to take her first win of the night.
The following elimination race simply acted to rubberstamp her dominance, but it wasn’t without a bit of hard work as she was forced to fight for it.
Wild found herself facing the fierce Italian duo in the final two sprints and it was a photo finish over Elisa Balsamo on the last which confirmed her second win.
In the final points race the Dutchwoman took four mid-race sprints to beat Canada’s world bronze medallist Jasmin Duehring to the victory.
Veteran’s old tricks come home to roost
Though 35-year-old Wild is a track veteran, it was the London 2012 Olympic Games that garnered her true global attention.
At the Lee Valley VeloPark, she finished sixth in the omnium and was a member of the Dutch team that finished sixth in the team pursuit together with Ellen van Dijk, Amy Pieters and Vera Koedooder.
She is adept at both track and road cycling, with her first major global breakthrough coming in Yvelines three years ago, donning the rainbow bands as scratch world champion.
On the road, she won the first stage of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire, after claiming silver at the 2016 Road World Championships in the road race.
Dutch flyer revels on home boards
Apeldoorn 2018. A partisan Dutch crowd. Multiple chances of glory. This year’s World Championships were all set up for Wild to show exactly what she’s like on home boards.
And if there was any doubt remaining over her skills, she certainly cast those aside when taking home scratch gold from the first day of competition.
But that wasn’t all for Wild – zooming her way to points race glory, while the omnium also went her way in quite magnificent fashion.
Indeed she came agonisingly close to winning four gold medals in all, with she and Amy Pieters denied another Dutch medal by Great Britain’s Katie Archibald and Emily Nelson.
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