The first edition for the revised and modernised Six Day London ended with a thrilling and entertaining finish on Friday night with Kenny De Ketele and Moreno De Pauw claiming overall victory in a close fight with young Britains Chris Latham and Ollie Wood. In true six-day tradition, the racing came down to the final sprint, with De Ketele coming through to secure overall victory.
“I am so happy,” said De Pauw on the race website. “I am so proud of us as before the Six Day London if you would of said that we would win it, I would have called you crazy, but we did it. When we were here for the Olympics in London, the atmosphere of the Six Day was almost the same - I thought the roof was going off it was amazing.
De Ketele explained that the Belgian pair used their six-day experience to win.
“When you are British and leading like Chris and Ollie were it is never easy, and we have had that experience in Six Day and we knew it was going to be hard for them. We profited from that, but those young boys did a really good job. Moreno and I are best friends, we are always together on the road, we do not mind racing more Six Days together and after January I think there will not be one Six Day we will not do together.”
With the velodrome again packed with a noisy crowd, Iljo Keisse and Gijs Van Hoecke won the first 20km madison but De Pauw and De Ketele were not far behind. Latham then won the first long lap of Six Day London ahead of Glen O’Shea of Australia, with Wood not far behind in third to make it a big points haul for team seven. De Ketele made his experience count to pip Germain Burton in the derny final, with Niki Terpstra and Keisse just behind.
However, Latham and Wood took back-to-back victories in the team elimination, and the flying 500m time-trial saw them earn enough points for an extra lap. That shot them to the top of the leader board with only the final chase remaining. The leadership and overall victory swung backwards and forwards but De Ketele’s final flourish saw him and De Pauw take top spot on the final podium.
In the sprinters’ race, Denis Dmitriev held off the challenge of Brit Matt Rotherham to claim the overall title, while Norway’s Stenberg took victory in the women’s Omnium ahead of Stefanie Pohl.