Six of the Best: 2018/19 Home Heroes
10 June 2019
The Six Day Series 2018/19 was the biggest and best party yet as the legendary mix of bikes, beats and beers was celebrated across seven fantastic venues across the globe.
The world-renowned track cycling competition branched out of Europe for the first time this year, taking the fun and games Down Under to Melbourne and Brisbane.
And with Hong Kong and cycling-mad Manchester also joining in on the fun, there were plenty more chances for certain riders to impress on home soil.
But which displays were rousing enough to get the home fans off their feet?
Here are six of the best that did just that.
British brilliance in Manchester
The sprint standings are often a story of German dominance when the likes of Maximillian Levy and Robert Förstemann are around, but at Phynova Manchester it was the Brits who stole the show.
Not one, not two, but three of them – the trio of Jack Carlin, Jason Kenny and Matthew Rotherham gave the north-west crowds plenty to cheer about in March by sealing all three podium positions.
All eyes were on six-time Olympic champion Kenny after he announced he would be making his Six Day debut at the inaugural event, but Rotherham popped up out of nowhere to steal his compatriot’s thunder in a rip-roaring keirin.
Carlin, 21, also played out a thrilling duel with Kenny over the three nights; one which reached its crescendo in the time-trials, where the Scot came out on top thanks to a 10.226s success on the final night.
Kluge and Reinhardt unleash perfect finale
The Germans may have fallen short in Manchester, but they sure proved they know how to bring a home crowd to their feet.
But this time we’re not talking about the sprinters. Home favourites Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt put on a stellar performance in the final Madison Chase to deservedly earn the Six Day Berlin crown.
They fell behind early on to Six Day title chasers Marc Hester and Jesper Morkov from Denmark, but the hometown favourites brought the Velodrom to its feet when they launched themselves into the lead in the final lap to regain their spot at the top of the standings and secure the Six Day Berlin crown.
Sarah Lee turns up the heat in Hong Kong
Six Day made bold new steps into Asia with the introduction of PRURide Six Day Hong Kong in March – and what better way to celebrate the spectacle than having a home heroine?
Although beaten into second place in the keirin by 2018 world champion Nicky Degrendele of Belgium, Sarah Lee Wai had enough points to top the table after three exhilarating days on the track.
There’s little better than a home favourite roaring to victory in front of a raucous crowd, and the recently crowned double world champion made sure the Hong Kong fans got an opportunity to go wild with an electrifying performance in the 200m flying time trial.
Clarke scorches to time trial success in Melbourne
Speaking of time trial performances, watching Tom Clarke sprint to success in Melbourne was nothing short of sensational.
The 24-year-old Australian track sprinter lit up Melbourne with a 9.928s stormer in the 200m time-trial – the quickest time recorded across the whole 2018/19 Six Day series.
Although he finished fourth in the overall standings with 108 points, well behind his compatriot James Brister on 141, Clarke’s blistering sprint finish made sure no Aussie fans would be forgetting their trip to the Velodrome in a hurry.
Latham and Tennant answer London’s calling
They may have narrowly missed out on the podium, but Chris Latham and Andy Tennant certainly gave the Six Day London faithful plenty of reasons to cheer at Lee Valley.
The British duo were top of the general standings table after day five, but they couldn’t hold on to top spot as Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga won a nail-biting final chase to take the title on points.
The London crowds didn’t get to cheer them onto the podium, however Latham and Tennant certainly gave them plenty of thrills along the way.
Morkov and Frederiksen dazzle in Denmark
It was a Danish delight at Six Day Copenhagen as a host of home favourites battled their way towards the top of the general standings, but no-one gave the home faithful more of a reason to cheer than Michael Morkov and Oliver Wulff Frederiksen.
The Danes dazzled on day four with victory in the opening series of six sprints before 12.859 in the 250m time trial earned them the points to leap to the top of the general classification.
The duo fell just short of overall victory on the final night as the Belgian pair of Moreno De Pauw and Kenny De Ketele swooped to victory in the Final Chase, but with plenty of wins to their name, it was certainly a week to saviour for the Danes.