London 6 Day: Victory for Belgium


Defending champions Moreno de Pauw and Kenny de Ketele of Belgium win London 6 denying home favourites Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins a fairytale victory

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London 6 Day: Victory for Belgium

By Phil Jones, Sportsbeat
Defending champions Moreno de Pauw and Kenny de Ketele declared their Six Day London win as their biggest ever after denying home favourites Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins a fairytale victory.


The Belgians overhauled their illustrious British rivals with a lap in the closing stages of the final Madison chase, and took the sprint to the line to take the victory on points. De Ketele and de Pauw, winners of multiple Six Day titles across Europe in recent years, led the competition from midway through the second day until midway through the fifth.

But an enthralling Madison victory for Cavendish and Wiggins on Day Five meant they leapfrogged the Belgians heading into the last day. However, a powerful final-day performance ensured de Ketele and de Pauw leave for the second round of the Six Day Series, in Amsterdam, in December, as London champions and Series leaders.

And de Ketele was left in no doubt about where this victory stands in their palmares. “With all respect to everybody, this victory is the biggest Six Day victory by far, it’s amazing,” said the 31-year-old. “The last sprint was just a mental thing, the gap was already big enough on points, it was all about gaining that lap back. Honestly, I think we were a bit lucky, but it’s amazing.”


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After an early exit in the elimination race, fourth in the Derny Final – which was won in style by Cavendish and Wiggins – the Belgians went all out for the win in the final hour-long Madison chase. Entering the race a lap down but a point ahead, the two teams were level heading into the final 40 laps, with de Ketele and de Pauw launching the race-winning solo attack in the final 30 circuits, making the junction with just ten to go.

“It was so hard, it was the hardest 20 laps of our careers, said de Pauw, 25. “We knew it would be difficult to gain a lap but we had to because we were a lap behind. So we were easy on our efforts in the Elimination and Derny to save energy, then in the final chase we went all-or-nothing with 30 laps to go. We quickly got half a lap, then it was just the last mental part to get the half a lap, then with ten laps to go we did it.”


Defeat left Cavendish and Wiggins downbeat, but respectful of their opponents. The event is scheduled to be Wiggins’ final race on British soil, with just one more opportunity for him to get a final win before retirement, at another Six Day in Belgium, “I’m disappointed but, at the same time, pleased it’s over,” said the seven-time world track champion. “It’s no mean feat losing to those guys. They’re real specialists at this. They nearly won the world’s off of us back in March, they took a lap right at the end similar to that.”

And Cavendish, who missed Six Day London last year when recovering through injury, said he could look back on the event with pride. “It’s been brilliant,” said the reigning Madison world champion. “Crowds have been phenomenal every night and that’s what it’s about. “The noise was just like when we won the World Championships back in March. We fought and we’re happy we could be in this position. We didn’t know how we’d be, so to be fighting for the win was incredible.”

“We’re majorly disappointed that we didn’t just win that after all the people who turned out for it, but to lose to Kenny and Moreno – it’s not like we haven’t lost to the best Six Day riders in the world, we’re world champions and we got to ride in front of our home crowd, so we’re happy with that.”

The night’s racing did see some British success, with Chris Latham and Andy Tennant taking the team elimination race, while Marc Hester won the Longest Lap race. Australia’s Cameron Meyer and Callum Scotson finished in third place, one lap down on the leading pairs, with British pairs Chris Latham and Andy Tennant in tenth and 11th places, respectively.


The other competitions saw Britain’s Katie Archibald take the women’s omnium crown and Germany’s Joachim Eilers win the sprinter’s event ahead of ahead of compatriot Max Levy. “It’s unbelievable,” said Eilers. “It’s my first Six Day ride here in London, where I won two world titles. It’s unbelievable, I like it very much. The crowds have been unbelievable. Every time, every day, full house and the crowd makes so much noise. It’s unbelievable, great, I love it.”

Six Day London took place between 25-30 October 2016 at Lee Valley VeloPark on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Six Day London 2017 tickets go on general sale at 11am on Wednesday, November 2 at


Final Overall
1 De Ketele / De Pauw BEL 391 0
2 Cavendish / Wiggins GBR 380
3 Meyer / Scotson AUS 344 @ -1 lap
4 Lampater / Kalz GER 321 @ -3 laps
5 Havik / Stroetinga NED 246 @ -3 laps
6 Torres / Mora Vedri ESP 288 @ -3 laps
7 Kneisky / Thomas FRA 250 @ -5 laps
8 Mørkøv / Hester DEN 208 @ -5 laps
9 Graf / Müller AUT 134 @ -7 laps
10 Tennant / Latham GBR 319 @ -7 laps
11 Wood / Dibben GBR 223 @ -9 laps
12 Grasmann / Beyer GER 167 @ -9 laps
13 Marguet / Imhoff SUI 230 @ -8 laps
14 Ligthart / Mouris NED 165 @ -9 laps
15 Lamon / Buttazzoni ITA 140 @ -12 laps
16 Pedersen / Rasmussen DEN 133 @ -14 laps


Wiggins and Cav on top

SIR Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish are perfectly placed to give the Knight Rider’s British racing career a fairytale ending after taking the lead at Six Day London. The duo took an all-important Madison chase victory by taking a solo lap on the field, on a night where Katie Archibald continued to dominate the women’s omnium.

With just a day’s racing to go Wiggins and Cavendish lead defending champions Moreno de Pauw and Kenny de Ketele by a lap, with the Australian pairing of Cameron Meyer and Callum Scotson, as well as Dutch duo Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga, a further lap behind. The Belgians have ten more points than the Brits but that is unlikely to be an issue as de Pauw and de Ketele sit 73 points from gaining the required points to take a lap.

And Cavendish is excited by the thought of maintaining their lead to end up Six Day Champions on Sunday. “It would be amazing,” said the 2011 Tour de France green jersey winner. “To ride here in front of this crowd in World Championship jerseys is something special anyway. I had to miss it last year, but to win it with Brad would be something special”.

“We’ve played the long game here. It’s a hard Six Day here in London and we knew we were going to be tired. We’ve tried to look after ourselves to come through. It’s not been great because we haven’t won so much this week and it’s a big gamble, but thankfully it’s paid off. I don’t think things are going to be easy on Sunday. There’s not just one team on our heels, there’s three or four teams, and that’s going to make it a really hard fight.”

The British duo missed out on a chance to gain points on the Belgians early on Day Five as all three leading pairs went out of the elimination race in the opening laps, with Brit Jon Dibben taking win ahead of France’s Morgan Kneisky.


But the opportunity was not to be missed a second time, as Cavendish and Wiggins ripped the Madison field to shreds, twice taking solo laps to win the race at a canter – to the obvious delight of the capacity Lee Valley VeloPark velodrome crowd – as Havik and Stroetinga took second, a lap down. And there was more British success in the Longest Lap, as Chris Latham took his second win of the week.

“It’s not the best race, but it is the best race,” said the 22-year-old. “It’s a crowd pleaser. They get to see you doing a bit of track standing, then at the end you just smash it.” The remaining Six Day race saw Germany’s Marcel Kalz and Leif Lampater take the 60-lap Derny B final, but not before Archibald had further stamped her authority on the women’s competition.

The overnight leader extended her advantage with wins in the flying lap, elimination race, and 10km scratch race. Archibald’s trade teammate Neah Evans kept up her string of second places, pushing the Olympic champion to the line in each of her wins, and currently sits second in the standings, five points behind her fellow Scot’s total of ten.

The Olympic team pursuit champion did miss out on one victory, though, with Jarmila Machacova taking the honours in the 10km points race, taking a lap on the field as Archibald and Evans finished fourth and third, respectively. With the elimination race, also known as the Devil Takes the Hindmost, not featuring in Sunday’s schedule, Archibald knows she does not have the title locked up just yet. “I’m feeling nailed, but happy, really pleased,” said the European omnium champion.

“We’ve had some pretty exciting sprints. I think that devil that we rode this evening,iIt’s got to be one of my favourite ever Devil finals I’ve think ever ridden. When you’ve got a tactic in your head and you follow it through, which rarely ever happens, I found that dead exciting. There’s no Devil on Sunday. That’s been my favourite event. I’ve never done a ‘Win & Out’ which is, I guess, the opposite of a devil. I’m pretty scared, I’m trying not to be scared.”

The sprinters event continued to see Germany’s Joachim Eilers dominate, and he now leads countryman Max Levy, sitting on 37 points, by ten with just one day to go. Eilers won the 200m TT, but could not take the sprint final as Levy got the better of him, and it was Britain’s Matthew Rotherham, third in the standings with 45 points, who took the Keirin victory.



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