Six of the Best: 2018/19 Young Guns
20 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.