October 05, 2012 (London, ON) – The first 6Day bicycle race in four years kicked off in grand style on Thursday night with a full field (6x 3-rider teams) taking to the boards at the Forest City Velodrome. The Coulier Memorial 6Day had press in attendance from the 3 local papers in London and the reporters were doing interviews with riders right through warm-ups and many in the “A” division had to get their legs turning during the rider/team introductions.
The riders may have been nervous at the beginning of the night, however, as the racing unfolded the Jitters went away and all the teams and rider performed like Pro’s.
Many spectators were watching a 6Day and track racing for the first time as the FCV in their local promotion handed out over 500 “FREE” tickets to the opening night of racing. The crowd will build as each night of racing progresses. The two Saturday nights will be the largest crowd and the primes will be flying to encourage the riders to lay a smackdown on their rival teams.
Night 2 continues on Friday October 5th at 7pm sharp.
How Night #1 unfolded:
The Coulier Memorial 6Day had a good cross section of racers taking part in the opening night of racing, many riders had previous commitments so adjustments are being made to accommodate riders who have to miss a night or 2.
During the first night of racing a couple of mechanicals (wheels & equipment failures) put at least 2 teams behind the 8 ball. Team London #2 (Eric MacDonald, Geoff Power, Lucas Taylor) lost 2 laps when a wheel problem had MacDonald a junior stay in the race for the 6 minutes it took to repair the problem. MacDonald soon found out about going in/out with another rider.
There were 3 madisons on night #1 where a mix of riders had their chance to shine.
B & C Division report:
John Hueston (Team Can-Am) took the opening Madison with Logan McIntyre (Team Delhi) finishing a very close 2nd. A total of 5 “B” Teams started the night of racing. The teams went straight into a series of Miss & Out events with Lucas Taylor (Team London #2) coming out on top in a very tight sprint against Conrad Mrowiec (Team London #1). In the Scratch Race for the “B” Division, Candice Vermeulen (Team Niagara) out sprinted Taylor to gain the 7 points on offer. The last event of the night had (Team London #1) take top honours in the last person standing race. (night #1 results for the “B” & “C” divisions are coming in a minute)
A Division report:
Night #1 of the Coulier Memorial 6Day – A Division, had many thrills, as the racers were involved with a series of races that made up the event, 2x 30 minute Madisons, Miss & Out & a Sprint race were on the program for the opening evening of racing.
The points were very close for all the teams going into the final chase (madison) of the night. 5 Teams were on even laps and the difference in points with the teams had everyone with a shot at coming home a winner on Day #1.
The final madison separated the teams and had everyone on edge as the riders circled the track at an average speed of 46kph. The teams were waiting for the first of 3 sprints within the madison to see who was the strongest on night #1. Early in the going, (Team Can-Am) Joe Brennan from New Jersey slide off the front of the group and gained a half a lap very easily…. there was no chase by the top team (Team London #1) Cam Mason and Ryan Aitcheson, this put pressure on the other teams to take up the chase so that they would not go down a lap…. as the speeds picked up and some tired legs appeared, a couple of teams were definitely under pressure. Team London #2 had a mechanical and lost 2 laps as the sprint at the 10 minute mark was announced.
Points were awarded for the first sprint, with Chris Singleton & Brian Trafford (Team Niagara) taking the 7 points off the board…. at this point the real racing began, the teams went on a 17 minute chase that put pressure on all the teams.
During the 17 minutes of constant attacking (Team Can-Am) lost a lap…. then another. Unfortunately Team London #2 lost their third lap just befor the final sprint and ended the night 3 laps in arrears. One of the last teams to go down a Lap in this madison were Team Delhi (Vlemmix and Renneboog). They followed the wheels of the 2 top teams, however, a leg cramp slowed the Delhi Duo down and they lost a lap to the hard charging teams from Niagara and London #1.
In the final sprint, Team Can-Am came over the top on the final lap to take the double points (14) away from the 2 top teams on the night. In the end, Team London #1 (Aitcheson & Mason) are leading the first night of racing with 51 points. They lapped all the teams up to second place Team Niagara (Trafford & Singleton) who are 13 points down on the leaders. After the first night of racing 2 teams are on even laps with 13 points separating Team London #1 from Team Niagara. (Final results from night #1 below).
In the post race media scrum, the first night leaders indicated that it was much harder racing than they had expected and the next 5 nights were going to be leg killers. Aitcheson from Kitchener, who has been racing on the road all summer in the United States, was very pleased to come out on top. “This was the first time back racing at the FCV in almost a year, it took some time to get back into the swing of things, however, the clean exchanges, bike handling abilities and skill of all the teams made the racing super safe and allowed for many attacks tonight…. I can’t wait until Friday night, When I should have my track legs back” Aitcheson said with a smile.
Racing begins on Friday night at 7pm. Adult admission is $10.00, Seniors $5.00, Kids are always “FREE”. The FCV has introduced a 6Day FAMILY admission pass for $50. Just ask as you come into the building.
Full results HERE.