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Howard ready to ramp up the noise on home soil as Six Day Brisbane comes into view

05 April 2019

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Leigh Howard is relishing the prospect of competing in front of another raucous home crowd as he gears up for one final showdown at Six Day Brisbane.

The Australian ace rode to glory with partner Kelland O’Brien in February as they pipped fellow countrymen Sam Welsford and Cameron Scott to the men’s general classification at Six Day Melbourne.

And thankfully for Howard – a 2018 Commonwealth gold medallist on the very same Anna Meares Velodrome track in which he is about to compete – the Series is back in familiar surroundings after trips to Hong Kong and Manchester.

While slightly further from home for Howard, Brisbane presents its own advantages which supplement the partisan effect – with the Six Day Series Final offering an even greater edge for an already-competitive man.

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“Melbourne was just amazing for us – I grew up just 50km from the city so it felt like home,” said the 29-year-old.

“It’s not very often that you get to race in front of a home crowd, in front of your friends and family – so that was special.

“We’ve had previous success in Brisbane – we’re not only used to it, but I really like the shape of the track.

“It has longer bends and shorter straights, which plays to my strengths and is something I’ve preferred in general.”

With its unique format, the Six Day Series can be a mystery to predict, with night after night of racing meaning that those who lead the way in the survival of the fittest will often top the standings.

And that’s where Howard’s advantage comes to the fore.

A background in road cycling has long given him the longevity to succeed, with his ability to sprint as well as his desire to go the distance resulting in a plethora of impressive performances.

He added: “Six Day Cycling is so different because you have numerous races each night. You can’t see it on the faces of the riders but it takes it out of you.

“You’re unable to race at full pace every time – which is why, actually, I prefer the format and can succeed in it.

“I tend to perform better as the events go on because I’m used to more long-distance road racing, while the Europeans normally train indoors.”

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Melbourne 6 day….run and won and what a special experience it was. Sharing and enjoying the moment along side @kellobrien in front of family, friends and a home crowd is something special and something I won’t ever forget. Thankyou to everyone who came and watched and supported us throughout the event, the riders who came from around the globe to compete and last but not least the fantastic @sixdaycycling group that are bringing back the essence of six day racing to its peak. Time to reset, prepare for World Champs then onto the epic final in Brisbane!!! Hope to see you all there!!! @gettysport thankyou. #sixdaymelbourne #melbourne #Trackcycling #winners #sixdays

A post shared by Leigh Howard (@leighhoward1) on

With Melbourne now a thing of the past, it’s all eyes on Brisbane for two of Australia’s favourite sons.

Howard and O’Brien sit fourth in the Six Day Series standings but with German pair Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt in their sights, a chance to get on the podium is not something to rule out.

Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga may sit as the form pair at the top of the standings but when it comes to the Six Day Final and a field packed with talent, nobody can be ruled out.

“The podium is the ultimate goal. We are 100 per cent capable of achieving that,” Howard added.

“We have had some great races recently and will be fighting for the bronze position.”

TICKETS FOR THE SIX DAY FINAL IN BRISBANE ARE ON SALE NOW AT HTTP://PREMIER.TICKETEK.COM.AU

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