Havik wary of strong Australian contingent as he aims to seal Six Day crown Down Under
08 April 2019
There’s the small matter of a Six
Day Series title on the line in Brisbane and Yoeri Havik is one of the
favourites to take it – but you certainly wouldn’t know it from talking to him.
Havik has established himself as one
of the elite riders in the Six Day Series, winning two events this year
alongside partner Wim Stroetinga as well as victory with Kenny de Ketele in
And now, as the Flying Dutchmen prepare to enter the field in Queensland as one of the duos to watch, Havik certainly isn’t letting any sort of pressure get to him.
“It’s a nice and relaxed preparation
so far. That’s what works the best,” he said.
“The weather is great; it’s all
relaxed, feels like a holiday and training camp all-in-one.
“For me, training is also a little
bit like a holiday – you can train in a new environment and in nice weather;
it’s just a cycling holiday! For me that works really well.”
But once on the track, Havik is all
A veteran of the Six Day circuit,
the 28-year-old knows better than most how to win spectacularly in the
And with seven triumphs in the 39 events that he has participated in, Havik is well aware of the reputation that he has accrued amongst his peers, and the perils that can bring in the midst of a tightly formed pack of cyclists.
“It makes it really hard,” he
“In Manchester we didn’t get so much
space. When you are a target you really need to be better than the others to
win; sometimes, when you are an underdog it’s easier!
“Now we are the men to beat, more or
less, and it makes it harder. When there are two or three teams from Down Under
and they have the home advantage then that’s a big advantage for them.
“It’s on us to try and compete with
them. I think the Aussies are the favourite here and we’ll try to beat them,
but maybe they’ll see it from the other way around, because we are the Six Day
riders that won the last two events.”
But with the canny operator that is
Stroetinga by his side, the duo are long enough in the tooth to be able squeeze
their way out of most sticky situations, as they’ve proved time and again so
far this season.
The compatriots are the perfect
example of what to strive for in an elite cycling partnership, their
relationship on the track symbiotic and their speed frightening.
“We’re both fast, but when we can
keep Wim fresh he’s the fastest on the track for sure,” Havik added.
“We started and, in the beginning – sometimes you both want to show off and that you’re fast – the co-operation was not perfect. Now we understand each other perfectly.
“Sometimes it’s my job to keep him fresh, and he also knows when I’m good and still have fresh legs, so can finish the job. Now we can really handle it well.”
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