Six Day 2018: The Year in Review
03 January 2019
With 2018 now behind us following one last changeover by all concerned, we herald in the new year by taking a look back at the best Six Day moments of the past 12 months.
The Commonwealth Games and European Championships ensured one of the busiest track cycling calendars in recent memory, but the bank of world-class talent have not taken a break from the Six Day arena – far from it.
We’ve witnessed some truly special contests featuring Bikes, Beats and Beers – and here’s a look back at some memorable moments from 2018.
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Six Day Berlin
With the 2017-18 Series under way after a searing opener in London, attentions turned to Berlin in January.
And, true to form, the home riders all put in strong showings as they aimed to delight the German supporters, always out in force to roar on the riders.
Max Levy won a remarkable seventh straight Six Day sprint crown in his home arena, while Kristina Vogel, in the very first women’s sprint competition in Berlin, dominated the rest of the field as she eased to success.
Dutch pair Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga returned to defend their title – and they achieved the feat in a packed field, pipping Belgians Moreno De Pauw and Kenny De Ketele to victory by six points.
French rider Laurie Berthon, the 2016 world omnium silver medallist, outclassed the rest of the field en route to the title ahead of Italian Maria Giulia Confalonieri.
Six Day Copenhagen
De Ketele and De Pauw are fearsome as a pair inside and outside of the Six Day arena – but this was one competition where they were split up.
And it was the former, teamed with home favourite Michael Morkov, who took the title in Scandinavia ahead of De Pauw and Havik, with the lead switching hands continuously in a thrilling few days of racing.
Canada ruled the roost in the women’s competition, with Allison Beveridge and Maggie Coles-Lyster a class act ahead of Jasmin Duehring and Stephanie Roorda.
Beveridge and Roorda were part of the Canadian squad which claimed bronze in the Commonwealth team pursuit, beating England in the race-off for third.
Six Day Mallorca
The series closer had more than a party feel to it, which was only magnified when popular Spaniards Albert Torres and Sebastian Mora Vedri swept aside all in their path to take the crown in the Balearics.
A highlight of the week came when the world Madison silver medallists showed their pedigree by clinching a dramatic final chase success on the line, and with it, the Six Day Series title.
The women’s competition turned into the Kirsten Wild show. Three-time a gold medal winner on home boards at the World Championships in Apeldoorn earlier this year, the experienced Dutch rider was competing in a rainbow jersey in Six Day for the first time.And she proved every inch the champion as she exuded dominance and class on the boards, winning ahead of Elisa Balsamo and Confalonieri.
German speedster Levy found himself in familiar territory atop the rostrum once again as he clinched the sprinters’ crown ahead of Juan Peralta.
Six Day London
The 2018-19 curtain-raiser began in typically pulsating fashion, with drama until the very last.
In a tense battle for the men’s crown, it was Dutchmen Havik and Stroetinga who emerged victorious after the sixth day.
They outsprinted Germans Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt in the final Madison chase, and provided one of the moments of the championship when they powered to a sensational double lap gain in an earlier Madison.
Home hopes were in the form of Andy Tennant and Chris Latham, who came within half a lap of taking a superb crown, but their quest to take a decisive lap in the closing stages of the final Madison fell agonisingly short.
The women’s competition was dominated almost from start to finish by a magnificent Australian outfit. Georgia Baker, Ash Ankudinoff and Kristina Clonan made up an all-Aussie podium with Baker a deserved winner.
In the sprints, there was a titanic battle for top spot with compatriots Max Levy and ‘Quadzilla’ Robert Foerstemann slugging it out in the head-to-heads and time trials, Levy eventually edging ahead of his rival to seal a maiden title in London.
With Berlin just around the corner and rounds to follow in Copenhagen, Melbourne, Manchester, Brisbane and London, 2019 is sure to be another year full to bursting with thrills and spills of Six Day racing.
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