Six Day London 2018: The best six races
30 October 2018
Another Six Day London has been and gone, with enough thrills, spills, sprints, beats, beer and drama to last a lifetime.
Dutch duo Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga claimed the title in dramatic fashion, while it was an Aussie one-two-three in the women’s event – with Georgia Baker coming out on top – and Max Levy edging out compatriot Robert Forstemann in the battle of the sprinters.
And what better way to look back on another captivating year of Six Day in London with a sextet of the very best moments from this year’s action?
Levy vs Forstemann round one
By now, these two are practically Six Day royalty.
German pair Levy and Forstemann know each other about as well as a pair of track cycling sprinters can; they have been teammates and rivals; shared in victories and defeats; and competed in some of the most dramatic races in living memory.
And this year at the Lee Valley VeloPark was certainly no different – yet another edition of the Max Attack and Quadzilla show.
The first day in London belonged to Forstemann; he took victory in the 200m flying time trial and the sprints, where the pair faced off head-to-head.
For what seemed like an eternity, Forstemann halted the duo at the top of the track, announcing an impromptu game of chicken, before powering to victory over his rival in dramatic circumstances and taking an early lead in the standings.
Home favourites hit the front
The British fans packed into the Lee Valley VeloPark arena were hoping to see something magical on the final day of action, with British duo Andy Tennant and Chris Latham sitting proudly atop the standings.
And while it wasn’t to be for the duo, they provided the partisan crowd with plenty of moments to remember.
Not-least the penultimate day’s Madison, which saw Tennant and Latham claim a dramatic lap on the field after an exhilarating ride.
Kirsten sends crowd Wild
Arguably the favourite heading into the women’s competition, Kirsten Wild started off her campaign for victory in imperious form.
Duking it out at the top of the standings with Baker, Wild claimed second-place in the points race to win a stunning omnium, and with it went clear ahead of the Aussie.
Wild battled from a long way out, holding out her rival on the line after a superhuman effort from Baker – much to the delight of those in the stands.
Levy vs Forstemann round two
This truly was a battle of two cycling heavyweights; the pair dealt blow after blow to one-another, and neither was to be cowed.
It was anybody’s call heading into the final day of racing, with Forstemann coming out on top in the final head-to-head sprint between the pair.
But there was to be one final twist.
Levy left it as late as can be as Forstemann was set for victory in the final keirin, sitting comfortably behind Lewis Oliva with Levy nowhere to be seen.
But the three-time Olympic medallist surged from on high to beat out his rival on the line, claiming the sprinters’ crown in the process.
Baker hits the heights
Lurking around the top of the standings throughout the women’s competition, Georgia Baker was in inspired form across all three days.
And she all-but sealed the title with a dramatic Madison victory in the penultimate race of the series.
All she needed to do was finish in the pack when the omnium reached its climax – and she did just that, ensuring an unprecedented triumph for Australian cycling.
Dutch delight for Havik and Stroetinga
This year’s Six Day London really did come down to the wire.
While Tennant and Latham leading the way heading into the final day of competition, the final day quickly became a battle between the Dutch, Germans and Australians.
The final Madison deserves an ode all to itself, with Havik and Stroetinga taking a remarkable double lap on the field, before their rivals reigned them back in.
But it was Havik who prevailed, stealing ahead of Aussie Kell O’Brien and German Roger Kluge in the final madison, claiming a maiden Six Day victory in a race that will live long in the memory.