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Six Day racing to London?

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 10, 2008, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 21:09 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, January 10, 2008

The International Six Day Organisation has confirmed it plans to hold a Six Day track event in...

The International Six Day Organisation has confirmed it plans to hold a Six Day track event in London next September, to be staged in a temporary velodrome in Greenwich, according to The Guardian. The velodrome would sit inside a giant tent near the O2 Arena - previously the Millennium Dome.

"We have been presenting to organisations in London," said director Frank Boelé, whose organisation also runs the Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Maastricht Six Days. "There isn't a suitable venue so we proposed a semi-permanent one next to the O2 Arena. It would hold 4,000 spectators and it would be in place for a month, allowing for community and youth cycling events as well as the main six-day race."

Final authorisation for the event depends on agreement from Greenwich council, but Boelé was confident of receiving the council's backing. "With the countdown to the London Olympics starting after Beijing, every district in London is very keen to have Olympic sports," he said.

"Greenwich is keen, [the tourist board] Visit London is keen, now we are just waiting on these parties to give the formal go-ahead. Once we have that, and know the infrastructure can be in place, we can secure sponsorship. We are already talking to some serious sponsors about it."

Six Day racing is believed to have begun in London in 1878 and would surely be popular again given Great Britain's position as a dominant force in track cycling. "In 1996 when England hosted the European Championship, they said football was coming home. I say that if we can stage a London Six it will mean that six-day cycling is coming home," said Boelé.

Olympic kilometre champion Chris Hoy, who recently finished riding a sprint series at the Rotterdam Six, was excited about the prospect. "I've always said it's a pity that we don't have a six-day event in Britain," Hoy told The Guardian. "I think it would be fantastic. In Rotterdam we've been getting 10,000 spectators a night and the atmosphere is incredible. I see no reason why people wouldn't come out to support a London Six, especially when you consider that Britain now has arguably the world's strongest track cycling team."

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