Europe has already had a taste of when high-speed cycling meets pumping music and flowing beer – now those Down Under can get on board with it all too.
In a first ever move by the organisers of the Six Day Series, the world-renowned track cycling competition is branching out of Europe, taking the fun and games to Melbourne and Brisbane next year.
There’s also a first for cycling-mad Manchester as the party rolls into the English northern city for the very first time.
Australia has already delivered champions in the form of Callum Scotson and Cameron Meyer at Six Day London back in 2017 but what’s it all really about?
And how does cycling and entertainment combine to create the ultimate sporting event? Let’s look at some of the key components!
Put simply, Six Day Series does exactly what it says on the tin. A number of track cycling races lasting six days. Across a series of events.
It’s one of the oldest forms of track cycling, with a men’s competition across all six days, a women’s competition taking place over three and sprinters thrown into the mix too.
In a twist, the new events in Oz will last three days, but totally six days of racing in Australia.
Initially, individuals competed alone but now the men’s competition features teams of two riders.
The overall winner is the team which completes the most laps and in the event if a tie, the winner is the team with most points won.
As well as the Madison and the ‘chase’ of trying to gain laps over competitors using mind-boggling ‘arm-sling’ manoeuvres, a typical six-day programme may also include time trials, intermediate sprints and elimination races.
It’s an action-packed festival of cycling which can only be best experienced first-hand trackside.
The forthcoming Six Day Series will fittingly see six different events take place between October 2018 and April 2019, meaning there is no excuse not to find time to watch some of the world’s best go head to head.
Opening in the English capital, the action picks up in pace in the new year with back-to-back races in Berlin and Copenhagen followed swiftly by Melbourne.
Then it’s back to the UK as Manchester plays host before the Final takes place in Brisbane in April.
For followers of British cycling, Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins delighted fans when they reunited for Six Day London 2016. And it almost became the perfect fairytale final race on British soil for Wiggo as they came close to winning before being beaten into second by Moreno de Pauw and Kenny de Ketele. Those Belgium riders are not to be messed with when it comes to Six Day riding and de Pauw and de Ketele have repeatedly proved themselves as top notch riders in recent years.
But in 2017, it was the Aussies who took bragging rights in London as Scotson and nine-time world champion Meyer edged out both the Belgium duo and Cavendish and Peter Kennaugh.
British Olympic champs Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker have lit up the women’s competitions in recent seasons with four-time world champion Kirsten Wild always right in the mix.
We have the rising stars – some of the world’s biggest young talents who dare to trouble the established order and their time in the spotlight with bold moves on the track.
And then there’s characters, the cycling personalities, that ramp up the atmosphere another notch. Take Kiwi rider Eddie ‘Big Dawk’ Dawkins who sipped beer on the start line in London back in 2017 or American Nate Koch who loved nothing more than ripping open his shirt to celebrate a victory.
Bikes, Beats and Beers
The riders get to enjoy themselves on the track, but off it there is just as much fun for spectators trackside. Bikes. Beats. Beer. Check! The racing is accompanied by a soundtrack of loud music and commentary to not only keep fans of all ages informed but entertained.
With the riders and teams based in the middle of the track when not racing, there is always something to keep an eye on as the action runs throughout the evenings across the six nights, culminating in some impressive celebrations – normally involving champagne and dancing!
So what are you waiting for? You’ve got the dates, the Six Day deets – now’s time to get your ticket punched to the best party in town!
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