October 30/06 11:00 am - London Velodrome Six Day Final Report
Posted by Editor on 10/30/06
Forest City Velodrome Six-Day - London, Ontario
Day 6 Final Report by Rob Good
At the Forest City Velodrome in London Ontario we held our fourth Six-Day bike race in the last 12 months. The race, which finished on Sunday afternoon, was the most competitive ever with the riders punishing their bodies with lap after lap at over 55kph.
In the end, Team Delhi's Stephen Meyer & Mike Reneboog held off the hard charging Team from Vancouver - Keith Thoranson & Dave Byer. In the battle for third it was the local London team, Ryan Crawford & Garnett Abbey who won the final night and squeaked into a podium position.
During the 6 nights of racing the spectators put up over $1980 in primes (special lap sprints). These sprints separated the teams in the overall standings and made for some very exciting all out efforts by the riders. With the prize pool of $1200 it meant that the teams took home a total of $3180 for their efforts. Not bad when we are all having fun.
How It unfolded........
Over the first three nights of racing the Brantford Team of Eric Robertson & Piers Davidge were clearly the strongest team on the boards.... they had a 4 point lead going into Day 4, however, in bike racing there are no gifts and the other 5 teams began attacking the favourites from the opening whistle. By the end of the first session the other five teams had Brantford down a lap and struggling to close the gaps. This strategy turned out to be the turning point of the race. It meant that three teams were within 3 points striking distance of the leading Brantford team.
Night 5 began with a series of primes that separated the teams and put pressure on the teams trying to get back into the race. Early on, Teams Delhi, London, and Vancouver attacked in an attempt to gain a lap, however Brantford quickly closed the gap and extended the lead to bump the other teams down 1 lap after 22 minutes of jamming. The Saturday night crowd was treated to a very entertaining miss & out race during the second race session. All 14 riders rode clean straight lines with many tactical moves to gain position during the race within a race. Eventually Team Brantford and Waterloo battled it out for the finish, a $100 bonus plus very valuable points going toward the evenings ranking. Taylor Martin (Team Waterloo) led out the final sprint, with Brantford's Eric Robertson battling him shoulder to shoulder going down the final straightaway. Martin took the win over Robertson by mere inches.
The last 40 min session on Saturday saw four $100 primes donated by the spectators and it kept the teams on their toes. In the end Team Brantford held on to the lead tied in points with Vancouver and Delhi only 2 points behind.
Sunday afternoon's racing saw all the teams arrive early to stretch their legs in a long warm-up before the final session.
The spectators on Sunday, the final day, witnessed some of the best racing we have had at the Velodrome. Four teams were within three points of the lead, sprinters wanting to take home the most prime money and others just wanting to make it to the end.
Team Hamilton's Vince DeJong & Lorne Falkenstein made the first move by splitting the pack. This move took Delhi and London with them and they eventually lapped the field and stood 1 lap up going into the first series of sprints. Team London's Ryan Crawford and Garnet Abbey dominated the sprints, however, it cost them a lap when a prime came up with 5 minutes to go in the first session. Determined not to be down going into session 2 London attacked with only a few minutes remaining in the session taking Delhi with them and regained the lost lap. At the end of the first of three sessions Delhi's Meyer & Reneboog were up a lap by themselves with the other teams battling out for second.
In the middle portion of the race with Delhi suffering after a crash in the Miss & Out Vancouver was able to gain a lap to put them on even terms. Robertson won the "Devil" against arch rival Martin and took home the $100 bonus. Once racing continued the session was extended by 5 minutes because of the delay with the crash in the Miss & Out that saw 3 riders go down, all unhurt ... the riders all continued.
The suffering continued as spectators made the action hot and heavy with more prime sprints during the last 5 minutes of the second session. Team London was able to gain another lap and were on the same lap as Team Delhi who were posed to win the bike race.
With 40 minutes to go, all the teams were blown, the team of Maogosha Pyjor (the first woman to compete in a 6 day bike race in Canada since 1896) and Adam Thuss rocketed off the front of the field and very quickly gained a lap to put them back in contention. This effort by Pyjor sent the crowd cheering and land her a $100 bonus from a spectator at the end of the night.The other teams were trying to calculate what they had to do to win the overall.
Sprints and primes, I lost track of where everyone was, the jams seemed to last forever, Sprints mixed with sore legs, a screaming crowd and the primes kept coming. In the end it came down to the final sprint of the night to determine the final placings for the most hotly contested race since we opened the 138m velodrome in April of 2005.
A very hard working Team London took Sunday's victory and that was enough to catapult them up to a third place overall podium finish.
At the end of it all Delhi and Vancouver were tied with overall points for the six days and the win was given to Delhi based on their higher placing for the final day.
The riding throughout the event was extraordinary and each and every team were winners.
The question asked by most riders at the 'after party' was, "When are we having the next one"? ...... To Be Continued in March
1. Delhi - Mike Renneboog and Stephen Meyer
2. Vancouver - Keith Thorarison and Dave Byer
3. London - Garnett Abbey and Ryan Crawford
4. Brantford - Eric Robertson and Piers Davidge
5. Waterloo - Rob Good, Joe Veloce and Taylor Martin
6. Hamilton - Vince DeJong and Lorne Falkenstein
7. Toronto - Maogosha Pyjor and Adam Thuss