Cyclist Mark Stewart was one of the big early winners as the London welcomed back Six Day racing for the first time in a generation.
The event, which started on Sunday (October 18) and continues to Friday (October 23) has showcased British cycling’s revival and set it to a thumping Ministry of Sound playlist complete with light shows and pizzazz.
On the Olympic Park track itself, it was Stewart who was hitting all the high notes as he took the inaugural 1878 Cup, an early five-race omnium which allows cyclists to get air in their lungs and size up the opposition.
The riders competed in the 20km scratch race, elimination race, 500m long lap, 500m flying lap and a 30km points race that covered 120 laps.
Etixx-QuickStep’s Niki Terpstra won the points race, but the 20-year-old Scotsman held firm to take the cup.
“It was my mum’s birthday yesterday, so it’s a birthday present for her,” he said afterwards. “I don’t see her that often because we live and train in Manchester away from our families. I’m sure she’ll love it.
“I didn’t expect to win at all, I’ve never done a Six Day before so I didn’t come in with any expectations but it’s been a lot of fun.”
Another early winner was Germany’s Eric Balzar winning the spring. He said: “I’m so happy to have won because it was a real fight against some brilliant guys,” said Balzer. “The event is brilliant to have it here in London is great especially with the crowd and such a great atmosphere.”
Japan’s Kazunari Watanabe pipped Britain’s Matthew Rotherham to win the keirin. “The keirin is the event I wanted to win because it originated in Japan, so I am really happy with that performance,” Watanabe said.