Six of the Best: 2018/19 Performances
14 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.