Six Day London had Stratford rocking
PUBLISHED: 13:52 31 October 2016 | UPDATED: 13:52 31 October 2016
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Cycling event proved thrilling entertainment
Walking into the Lee Valley Velodrome, it was hard to believe I wasn’t in a nightclub or a rock concert.
Big queues, bright lights and a DJ spinning loud dance tracks. The bar remained full throughout the evening.
But it wasn’t a club night, it was the Six Day London track cycling event – one of the more complex on two wheels – with a sell-out crowd enjoying the show.
The races are fast and thrilling, and a premium is put on entertainment.
This was the second year in a row the Six Day has been in Stratford, having returned to London in 2015 after a 35-year hiatus.
While last year’s event was slightly underwhelming, this week the organisers definitely took things up a notch.
Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, arguably Britain’s two greatest ever cyclists, were the big draw for the historic event – Sir Bradley’s last race in the UK before he retires following the Ghent Six Day in November.
Coupled with this summer’s Olympic fever, five of the six nights were completely sold out, with a huge roar echoing around the velodrome every time Cavendish or Wiggins went on the attack.
Six-Day racing is undoubtedly confusing.
Teams of two compete in a variety of events – including behind Derny riders, in short time-trials and over 45 minutes trying to lap the field – to see who can accrue the most points over the six days.
While flying around the track at speeds of up to 70kmph, one rider will slingshot his partner forward to bring him into the race.
My friends, watching it for the first time, asked a lot of questions at the start.
But they quickly got into the swing of the crazy and brash entertainment, aided by explanations from Sir Chris Hoy before each different race.
By the end of the night we were all screaming our approval as Cavendish sprinted around his Belgian rival to win the final event of the night - the Madison Chase.
In the interview afterwards Cavendish began to well up, such was the passionate support.
While the racing may not make sense when you first enter the velodrome, by I guarantee the end you would have been hooked.