Six of the Best: 2018/19 Young Guns

20th May 2019

The Six Day Series of 2018/19 provided a perfect platform for young track tyros to strut their stuff.

In front of packed houses in the seven of the world’s most iconic cities, emerging riders got the chance to cut their teeth in the eye of the Six Day storm.

But which of the youthful speedsters stood out most?

Here’s a look at six of the best young stars to light up Six Day last year.

Oliver Wuulf Frederiksen

To come close to outright event victory on your Six Day debut is one thing – to do so at the age of 18 is a bit special.

Frederiksen was living the dream at Six Day Copenhagen, partnering 2017 winner Michael Morkov and wearing the prestigious number seven jersey in front of an adoring home crowd.

After a steady start, Frederiksen showed his class on day two with a tactical masterclass to take the team elimination and outwit old hands Moreno de Pauw and Kenny De Ketele.

They leapt to the top of the general classification on day four with victory in the opening series of six sprints and then 12.859 earned them the points in the 250m time trial.

Overall victory eluded Frederisken as the Belgian duo of De Pauw and De Ketele swooped to victory in the Final Chase, but it was a week the young star won’t forget in a hurry.

Manon Lloyd

In the build-up to Melbourne, Lloyd and partner Abbie Dentus were introduced in the media as ‘newcomers’ to the Six Day scene. And no-one could have really disagreed with them.

But by the time the Welsh whizz surged to 10km scratch race victory on the final night of racing at the Melbourne Arena, holding off Georgia Baker and Annette Edmondson, everyone knew her name.

“I almost feel bad taking the win off the Aussies, but it’s so nice to get a victory for myself,” said the European bronze medallist.

“I wanted it to be a sprint and it worked out for me quite well. It’s great for the morale coming into the end of the month. It’s good to know I’ve got some form behind me.”

The Welsh whizz came back for more at Six Day Hong Kong and more than pulled her weight in the opening-day omnium, ending in third after top-three displays in scratch and points races.

Cameron Scott

The Six Day Series spread its wings in 2018/19, taking in Australia for the first time with a stop-off in Melbourne, offering 21-year-old Scott the chance to showcase his talent.

Neither Scott nor partner Sam Welsford, only two years his senior, are steeped in Six Day racing but they showed nous worthy of veterans to wrest control of the opening two days of the event.

The Aussie duo showed an aptitude across the gamut of Six Day disciplines, winning both time trials and securing top-two finishes in Madison Chase and team elimination events.

Scott was pipped to the post by Kelland O’Brien and Leigh Howard on the final night but still left a big impression on his home crowd.

Jack Carlin

The sprinters field for the inaugural Phynova Six Day Manchester was nothing short of stacked.

Jason Kenny made his series debut on home track, with German duo Max Levy and Robert Forstemann both in town to spoil the Brits’ party.

But Carlin, twice silver medallist at the 2018 Track World Championships, outwitted six-time Olympic champion Kenny in Friday and Sunday’s sprint finals.

And time trial victories on the first and final nights formed the backbone of the Scot scooping the sprinters title in Cottonopolis.

Emily Nelson

It seems remiss to describe a three-time Track World Championship medallist at a youngster, but at the age of 22 Nelson remains in the formative years of her career.

Third at Phynova Six Day London in 2017, Nelson came back for more and didn’t disappoint in a highly successful 2018/19 campaign.

And she was never out of contention at the Lee Valley Velodrome in 2018, taking the tempo race on the first night of women’s racing and going on to finish fifth overall.

She was one of the stars of the women’s field at the inaugural Phynova Six Day Hong Kong, cleaning up alongside partner Neah Evans, the pair finishing on 272 and 270 points respectively to win gold and silver.

Victoire Berteau

There can’t have been many younger competitors in the 2018/19 Six Day Series than Berteau, who stepped onto the track at Phynova Six Day Manchester aged just 18.

A fixture on the French Espoirs road circuit, Berteau nearly troubled the top ten in the points race on the opening night.

She saved her best until last as she won the 10km scratch race, pushing past the likes of Katie Archibald, Laura Kenny and Kirsten Wild.

Six of the Best: 2018/19 Performances

14th May 2019

The curtain has closed on stellar Six Day campaign that saw world-class track cycling head to seven fantastic venues across the globe.

From the opener in London to the season finale in Six Day
Brisbane, riders thrilled and shocked in equal measure, regularly conjuring
moments of brilliance.

But which displays stood out most during the 2018/19 season?

Here are six of the best to help you decide. 

Yoeri Havik & Wim Stroetinga, Final Chase – Six Day
London

In one of the tightest finishes in the Series’ history,
Havik and Stroetinga nicked an incredible Madison Chase over the final few
metres to seal the Phynova Six Day London title.

After battling it out throughout the week with Germany’s Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt and Aussie pair Kell O’Brien and Leigh Howard, it came down to a final sensational dash for the line to decide who would take bragging rights away at Lee Valley VeloPark.

And in a spellbinding conclusion, Stroetinga topped world
champion Kluge in a dramatic head-to-head to seal a maiden Six Day title in
style.

The victory in the English capital was a sign of things to
come for the flying Dutchmen, who went on to become key protagonists throughout
the campaign.

Max Levy, 250m Flying Time Trial – Berlin

Records tumbled in the Velodrom as ‘Magic Max’ made it eight
wins on the spin on his home track.

The home hero had not had the best of days on Monday as he
missed out on top spot across the three races.

But he made up for that in style in the final, bagging victory in the sprint finals before clinching top spot by a staggering 40 points.

Saving the best until last, Levy powered to a record time of
12.295 seconds in the 250m Flying Time Trial to blitz the competition and send
the Berlin crowd wild.

The remarkable time was the second across all events in the
Tempodrom and came as the German made it 100 podium finishes in the capital.

Now that’s a record!

Kenny De Ketele and Moreno De Pauw, Madison Chase – Six
Day Copenhagen

Heading into the final Madison Chase, Belgian pair De Ketele
and De Pauw trailed home favourites Michael Morkov and Oliver Wulff Frederiksen
by 91 points in the Danish capital.

De Pauw, whose wife had given birth just a fortnight before, had endured less than ideal preparation, while De Ketele was still suffering with an ongoing collarbone complaint.

As such, the odds of a comeback were very much stacked
against them.

In the face of adversity though, the Belgian duo somehow dug
deep to stay in touch on laps, with a defining gain 50 laps from the climax
earning them an incredible victory.

“I could never expect this – I just know I worked really
hard,” said injury-hit De Ketele. “I’ve been many hours on the rollers thinking
what am I doing, why am I trying?

“When I experience this moment, it’s all worth it. It all
worked out perfect.”

Leigh Howard & Kelland O’Brien, Final Madison – Six
Day Melbourne

Aussie pair O’Brien and Howard found new levels of guys and
power as they snatched the Six Day Melbourne title from the jaws of rivals Sam
Welsford and Cameron Scott.

On an incident-packed final day, the speedy O’Brien tore off from minute one of the final Madison, immediately gaining the lap they needed to take, before staying on the lead throughout and steadily racking up points.

With 20 minutes remaining, a collision between Welsford, New Zealander Shane Archbold and American Shane Kline left Welsford bruised and bleeding, but he manfully carried on.

And in the end, Howard streaked clear in the final sprint,
with Scott third.

O’Brien said: “That was a very exciting Madison – it was
pretty exciting for us! We didn’t even know what was going on, we just had to
give it everything.”

Katie Archibald, Elimination Race – Six Day Manchester

Opening night at the inaugural Phynova Six Day Manchester
belonged to Archibald, who revelled in rampant omnium victory amid a stacked
women’s field.

Three event wins out of four shone a light on the
25-year-old’s dominance at the National Cycling Centre – but the biggest roar
by far of the night was reserved for her display the elimination race.

Ripping past the considerable threat of world champion
Kirsten Wild in the final lap, two-time Six Day London champion sealed the deal
in style.

Whatever questions her rivals asked, Archibald answered in
style. No more so than in her head-to-head triumph over the dangerous Wild.

Amy Cure, Scratch – Six Day Brisbane

After victory in Manchester, champion-to-be Archibald
continued her impressive form in the season finale in Brisbane, sweeping away
all comers in a series of sensational performances.

It was going to take something special to topple the Brit,
but that was exactly what Cure, ever the fighter, produced.

Mustered one last push in the concluding race, the Tasmanian
powered to victory in the scratch on home soil.

That was not enough to claim the crown – Archibald’s
superior record up to that point proving enough – but the stunning display is
sure to live long in the memory for those present at the Anna Meares Velodrome.

As is so often the case on the Six Day circuit, this was
track cycling at its very best.