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Havik wary of strong Australian contingent as he aims to seal Six Day crown Down Under

08 April 2019

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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 Hong Kong.  

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 business.

A veteran of the Six Day circuit, the 28-year-old knows better than most how to win spectacularly in the competition.

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 explained.

“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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