Photo: @mossfoto

Track Cycling

Six Day London

🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️ All track roads lead to Lee Valley VeloPark this week as a stellar cast of world’s best riders take part in Phynova Six Day London at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.  Tickets off-sale.  

Lights, camera, track action!  If you’re not familiar with the Six Day experience prepare for track cycling but not as you’ve known it from Tuesday 26 October to Sunday 31 October.

Six Day London in 2021 promises to be better than ever as the lights get turned down and the music turned up, and the world’s best track riders do battle across six nights of epic racing, all set to a thrilling soundtrack.

London marks the first event of six in the 2021/2022  Day Series calendar (for more information about Six Day see below) with world, European and Olympic champions in the building in pursuit of the 2021 Six Day London title, not to mention the opportunity to stake an early claim for overall Six Day winner. 

The velodrome at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park may have a party atmosphere this week but expect the competition to be fierce in races which span the men’s and women’s elite competition – including keirin, madison, derny, flying time trials and much more.

Six Day in numbers:

32 of the best riders including World, Olympic and European Champions make up …

16 teams of 2 who compete across …

5 disciplines including elimination race, time trials and Madisons set over…

6 days of competition until…

1 winner is crowned on the final night!

Photos: @mossfoto

ONES TO WATCH: Katie Archibald.  Archibald (pictured above left), is a multiple world champion and European gold medallist who was part of the Team GB quartet which broke the women’s team pursuit world record at the 2016 Olympics en route to a gold medal.  Having scooped the Six Day London title in 2016 and 2017 Archibald once again finished top of the podium in 2019 together with Neah Evans.   In second place were fellow GB stars Elinor Barker and four-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny

In the men’s event all eyes will be on the potential return of sprinting superstars Mark Cavendish and Elia Viviani.  Cavendish (also pictured above) is the winner of an extraordinary 30 Tour de France stages and regarded by many as the greatest sprinter of all-time.  The three-time madison world champion finished second on the podium in 2019 in partnership with Owain Doull, while the aforementioned Viviani – an Olympic gold medallist from Rio who was making his debut in the event – took top spot with Simone Consonni.

🔑 Doors open Tuesday to Saturday at 5.30pm with racing from around 6pm.  On Sunday doors open at 3.30pm with racing until the early evening finishing with the hour-long final Madison.   

🗓️ For the daily schedule click here and scroll down the page.

🎟️ Tickets  are currently off-sale. 

🚊🚗 Travel tips: The Velodrome is accessible by train, tube, bus, bike, car and taxi.  Public transport is recommended.  See this guide to visiting Lee Valley VeloPark for full details.

🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️ About Six Day 

The lights get turned down and the music turned up, as Six Day Cycling combines the very best in track cycling with an incredible party atmosphere.

Expect the action to come thick and fast as the track centre DJ keeps the party going before, during and after the racing.  With the men competing in teams of two across the six days, a women’s event across three days and the best Under 21 talent, you won’t want to miss out!

The Race Types

MADISON: The Madison is the quintessential ‘Six Day’ event, invented at Six Day and named after Madison Square Gardens. With the Madison now part of the Olympic Games programme, both men and women will have Madison races in the Six Day Series. Riding in pairs, each team member takes turns to race, bringing his or her partner into the race with a ‘hand-sling’. Highly tactical, Six Day Madison races still concentrate on ‘taking a lap’ which is the traditional format and can lead to hugely tactical, as well as explosive racing.

Throughout a Six Day event there are differing versions of the race, including a 45 minute chase, a 500m Time Trial and the Madison Finale which often decide the entire event.

ELIMINATION: Unlike most races, the action tends to take place at the back of the pack in the elimination. Every two laps the rider at the back of the race is eliminated – all the way through until there are only two riders left, who sprint it out for the win. It’s not possible to take a lap in an elimination race.

DERNY: In the derny race, a rider from each team lines up behind a motorised pacer. The derny pacers are often former track racers, whose facial expressions range from ‘inscrutible’ to ‘very inscrutible’. Riding in the slipstream of the derny allows for fast and spectacular racing. The pacer / rider combination is done by drawing names from a hat pre-race.

KEIRIN: The spinters line up in the home straight as a single derny pacer circles the track awaiting the starting gun to signal the start of the race. The riders then follow the pacer jostling for position behind him for five and a half laps – no rider is allowed to pass the derny bike – as he reaches 50kph. As the derny leaves the track with two and a half laps to go, it’s every man for himself as the riders go all out for the win.

200m TIME TRIAL: The sprinters take to the track individually as they take on the clock in this crowd-pleaser. Building speed as they go, the showmen take two and a half laps to reach top speed and whip the crowd up into a frenzy before the bell is rung as they exit the last corner. That’s the cue for them to hit full speed as the clock starts and 200m later it’s all over as the next rider takes to the track and it starts again.

👀 For more great spectator sport visit our ‘What’s On ‘ page.  And for regular reminders to ensure you don’t miss a moment of the action subscribe now to our free newsletter!