Maurice Burton and Stan Tourne make Cycling’s front page in the first of two issues covering the 1980 London Six Day.
Viewers of Eurosport were flooded with track cycling as the European Championships, London Six Day and then the Manchester Revolution round were all covered extensively in rapid succession. Sadly there was little or nothing on British terrestrial TV despite ITV4 having covered the Revolution series before.
The British sports editors took only limited interest - and almost completely ignored the Six Day. Even the cycling-specific media seemed dismissive of the return of the London Six - as did British Cycling - despite the notable performances of Chris Latham, Ollie Wood, Germain Burton, Mark Stewart, etc and the Rotherham brothers in the sprints.
Now it is only a couple of days since the London Six ended so Cycling Weekly and British Cycling could publish some reports / galleries next week. Certainly there was no shortage of pro photographers there and at least one BC director was present in the track centre.
Given that indoor velodrome racing is one of the few Olympic cycling disciplines that can be a guaranteed starter during a British winter then support for such high-profile international events as Six Days needs to be whole-hearted; irrespective of who organises them. And the experience - and contacts - gained by the young British riders last week in London will not only help their careers but their chances of success in the upcoming Worlds and Olympics.
Six Day Briefing
Now that Britain plans to return to the world of Six Day velodrome racing it is helpful - for me at least - to have review of the current state of this specialised branch of our sport.
Firstly the European Sixes are, in the main, grouped together under the banner of the Union Internationale des Vélodromes (UIV). However the grouping is not as powerful as it once was and for the 2015-16 season there are just five races planned by UIV members at - Ghent, Rotterdam, Bremen, Berlin and Copenhagen. The absence of London from the group may have an impact - but exactly how is not clear. The UIV maintains a ranking table for senior riders and promotes the Talents Cup for the Under-23 age group. This season there will be four rounds of the Talents Cup - Ghent, Rotterdam, Bremen and Berlin - all held during the corresponding Six.
It is the UIV ranking table that allows fans more familiar with road riders to work out who are the current stars in the world of madisons - the key component of Six Day racing. The current top three are - Alex Rasmussen (Denmark), Leif Lampater (Germany) and David Muntaner (Spain). This means that Mutaner is the highest ranked madison rider down to compete in this month’s London Six. Looking further down the list for the position of the London riders in the rankings we have - De Pauw (39th), Duehring (61st), Graf (14th), Grasmann (11th), Havik (39th), Hester (10th), Holloway (61st), Kneisky (7th), Kreder (61st), Jesper Morkov (12th), Michael Morkov (16th), Müller (14th) and O’Shea (45th). And this list should now also include Keisse who is ranked 8th. Only three British riders appear in the 2014-15 rankings - Cavendish, Christian and Doull - but none of them are down to start at London. Update 7-Oct-2015: Today’s additions to the start list are - Adam Blythe, Martin Irvine, Lucas Liss and Niki Terpstra - making a total of 26. However Iljo Keisse is not yet shown on the riders list despite last week’s announcement. And there will need to be at least one other starter to keep the total field to an even number. For updates see above
However there are some British names in the latest Talents Cup standings that could boost the senior Six Day numbers in future years. The pairing of Christopher Lawless and Matthew Gibson came 4th through their win in Ghent. And Jonathan Dibbern / Owain Doull came 10th due their performance in Berlin while Stephen Bradbury squeezed in with just 1 point while partnered by Jan-Andew Freuler at Fiorenzuola. It would have been good to see one or two of these young madison riders get a start in London.
Change of Season
Today sees the last of the true road classics - Il Lombardia - previously known as the Tour of Lombardy. And the winter track season can take a little of the limelight. Even so starting the Revolution series in August did not seem - from casual observation - to have reduced attendance and, being indoors, the organisers could be sure that the British weather could not spoil the show.
But still there is more chance of media coverage when the road season is out of the way and some well-known road riders can take to the boards. So in the UK October will see both the London Six and the Manchester Revolution meetings with the possibility of TV coverage; at least on satellite.
LONDON SIX 2015
MEN - MADISON
Germain Burton (GB)
Moreno De Pauw (Belgium)
Jake Duehring (USA)
Andreas Graf (Austria)
Christian Grasmann (Germany)
Yoeri Havik (Netherlands)
Marc Hester (Denmark)
Daniel Holloway (USA)
Morgan Kneisky (France)
Ivan Kovalev (Russia)
Wesley Kreder (Netherlands)
Jesper Morkov (Denmark)
Michael Morkov (Denmark)
Andreas Müller (Germany)
David Muntaner (Spain)
Glenn O’Shea (Australia)
Denis Rugovac (Czech Republic)
Stefan Schäfer (Germany)
Mark Stewart (GB)
Gijs van Hoecke (Belgium)
Melvin van Zijl (Netherlands)
Sebastian Wotschke (Germany)
see above for updates
First up it’s the return of the six days of racing format to the UK after a 35 year gap. However the actual competition has been split into a standalone day on the opening Sunday followed by a five day competition over Monday to Friday.
The Manchester Revolution meeting is scheduled for the day after the Six ends; on Saturday 24 October [This was originally announced as being in Glasgow - but has now swapped dates with 28 November]
According to the London Six web site today the men scheduled to be riding the madison are the 22 named opposite but there was also an announcement two days ago that Iljo Keisse (Belgium) will ride. So he will need a partner - and Niki Terpstra is suggested as a possible.
If this is the final line-up then British interest will be limited to the two GB team pursuiters Germain Burton and Mark Stewart; both under 21 and not well known except by serious track tifosi. Quite how that will impact reporting in the UK media is unclear - but the absence of all the news makers from the 2015 road season (and earlier) cannot be a plus point.
In contrast Manchester is headlined by Bradley Wiggins, Ed Clancy and Adam Blythe supported by two riders from the London Six - Christian Grasmann and Glenn O’Shea. [However Ed Clancy is now reported as injured and out of action until the Cali round of the World Cup at least]
Let’s hope that the young GB riders take their big chance - and provide some positive headlines for the return of the Six in just two weeks time ... Future races are likely to depend on it.
UK Indoor Track Update - Six Day Racing Returns in 2015
Today saw the official launch of the first London Six Day since 1980. Running from Sunday 18th to Friday 23rd this coming October at the former-Olympic Velodrome at Lee Valley VeloPark the event promises to set a new high point for track cycling in Britain.
So the dates are confirmed and you can read all about it at the new website SixDay.Com.
Our sister website SixDay.Org.UK can claim no credit for this marvelous announcement. But perhaps it did give just a little bit of encouragement to the organisers and backers over the four years that it published research into the stories behind Britain’s long six day history ... At least we would like to think so.
UK Indoor Track Update - New Venue Starts
Today the confirmed dates and venues for the next Revolution Series were published as -
14-16 Aug 2015 Revolution 51 Derby
24 Oct 2015 Revolution 52 Glasgow
14 Nov 2015 Revolution 53 London
28 Nov 2015 Revolution 54 Manchester
02 Jan 2016 Revolution 55 Manchester
23 Jan 2016 Revolution 56 Manchester
So an earlier start and finish for the series this time around - and it will be interesting to see if having just one round in London again is going to be enough to satisfy the large potential demand.
World Track Update
The international calendar has been subject to delays and changes of plans in recent years. But hopefully the key dates and venues for the coming season have this time been sorted.
Dates noted for the 2015-16 season are -
14-19 Jul 2015 Junior Europeans Athens Greece
19-23 Aug 2015 Junior Worlds Astana Kazakhstan
03-10 Oct 2015 Masters Worlds Manchester UK
14-18 Oct 2015 Elite Europeans Grenchen Switzerland
30 Oct-01 Nov 2015 World Cup Round 1 Cali Colombia
05-06 Dec 2015 World Cup Round 2 Cambridge New Zealand
16-17 Jan 2016 World Cup Round 3 Hong Kong
02-06 Mar 2016 Elite Worlds London UK
05-21 Aug 2016 Olympics Rio de Janeiro Brazil