At the beginning or January, I was fortunate enough to be invited to compete at the Bremen 6 Day. 6 Days are among the most entertaining events to compete in, with the racing for us starting at 10pm and finishing at around 1.30am, all in front of packed out crowd, many of whom had been enjoying the various drinks on offer.
The racing program is based on points over the continuous 6 days. Getting to bed at 3am on the first night and realising that there were still 5 days to go made it feel like it would never end, but as with anything fun, the end came round very quickly.
Bremen track itself was temporary and only 160m in length. The banking was 50 degrees which mean technically there were no issues getting round the bend, but committing and holding it down when the total lap time was only 9.0 seconds was pretty challenging. This was made worse by the fact that the riders were allowed up to a meter from the bottom of the track, meaning I lost my nerve at least once and went flying up the track!
The racing program consisted of a flying lap, sprint, Keirin and team sprint each evening. There were only 6 riders competing which made the program short and concise, no problem for me as with three separate competitions each night, a straight final worked well.
I qualified in 3rd position 5 out if 6 nights which left me in a good position in the sprints. The team sprints went 3-2 in favour of the Germans, but this too left me in touch and through some mid field Keirin results, I was able to finish 3rd overall at the end of the week.
The highlights of the week were definitely a win in both the sprint and the Keirin, but to be honest racing in front of the crowd was what made the week. It was really nice to just race with no pressure, and with thousands of people packed in track center for the mid session entertainment, it was definitely one of the most fun events I’ve ridden at. There were plans a few years ago to hold a 6 day in London which never came together. I think it would completely blow the minds of what people think about cycling and how it can be taken to this level of entertainment with nothing but the win on the line.
It was a fantastic way to start the year, my next blog post will be Para-World championships so keep checking to see how myself and Neil Fachie get on.