Stars of Six Day: Eddie Dawkins and Ethan Mitchell
21 September 2018
New Zealand speedsters Eddie Dawkins and Ethan Mitchell have certainly been around the block when it comes to track cycling, and their exhilarating racing has quickly made them Six Day favourites.
The pair were silver medallists at the Rio Olympics, comprising two-thirds of the team sprint triumvirate along with Sam Webster.
And with a plethora of other titles to their names, the latest Six Day Stars certainly aren’t short on successes.
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Title after title
On top of that Olympic silver, the pair boast a staggering six World Championship gold medals between them, just serving to underline the dominant force that is New Zealand team sprinting.
They followed up a maiden triumph at Cali 2014 with a second at London 2016, spoiling the party for home favourites Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner and the British fans alike.
It was the Dutch trio, however, whose turn it was to pick up silver in that championship, and a year later the final had a very similar look to it.
It was déjà vu for the Netherlands, as Dawkins and Mitchell made it a world champs hat-trick.
Whilst the New Zealanders are best known as a pair, each has made huge strides when the time has come for them to ride solo.
And it was Michell who broke new ground when he took bronze in the sprint event at the 2017 World Championships, beating out Great Britain’s Ryan Owens in double-quick time.
It was the first ever individual sprint medal for the Kiwi rider at the competition, demonstrating that Mitchell certainly has the capabilities to go it alone when required.
Dawkins is not to be outdone, however, as silvers in the keirin at consecutive World Championships in 2015 and 2016 can attest to.
When last year’s Six Day London line-up was announced, it quickly became clear that the Kiwi teammates would be facing off in the sprint category.
Little did the cycling world know, however, how things would play out, as two men who had found such success racing alongside one another would lock horns.
The results were spectacular, with Dawkins stealing the crown from his compatriot on the penultimate day of the event.
Mitchell had topped the overall standings from the off, enjoying an 18-point advantage over his friend at close of play on day three.
But wins in the sprint final and the 200m flying time trial that day had catapulted Dawkins to within just three-points of top spot.
And despite Mitchell’s triumph in the sprint on the penultimate day of racing, Dawkins stole the lead and refused to give it back, eventually claiming the overall title six-points ahead of Mitchell in second.
Only time will tell how this year’s equivalent duel will play out, but as all cycling fans know, the sprint is never one to miss.
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