6 Day London
I was offered a last minute chance to take photos at Friday's 6 Day finale at Lee Valley Velopark so I rushed out with my camera not really knowing what to expect...
The atmosphere was amazing as soon as I stepped into the track center. I'd never seen Lee Valley like this, packed out to the roof, glaring coloured lights flashed around the room as sprinters danced to a DJ set in front of me. I couldn't help but smile, it was completely different to any race I'd seen before, the usual overwhelming sense of seriousness had dispersed from the arena and party vibes had taken over.
One by one, riders were introduced to the stage in the darkened arena right before their race. Including our good friend Christine (aka Marmite) who started track cycling around the same time as us at Herne Hill Velodrome. It's amazing to see how far shes progressed, racing against Dani King and Dame Sarah Storey in the womens omnium is no easy feat!
The womens omnium was a welcome addition to the event. With the focus of 6 Day on the male racing teams, it was great to see womens racing throughout the night and included in the main program.
Dame Sarah Storey made a huge solo brakeaway in the scratch race, Raising her arms at the crowd to welcome their roaring encouragement but unfortunately the bunch furiously chased her down in the final few laps.
Nate Koch was a huge crowd favourite. The 2013 National Team Sprint Champion from the US spent his pre and post race time chatting to fans, doing interviews and dancing in the DJ booth. Is on-track antics were no different.
The whole group of sprinters certainly helped make the night special. Plenty of track stands for the lucky front row spectators.
At one point in the match sprints, I recall one sprinter cheekily grabbing the railing and sitting up for a rest whilst his opponent, oblivious to it all, carried on his track stand in front. After a little pat on the back he applauded his track standing skills and gracefully took the unwanted lead.
Something tells me it was probably Nate...
After seeing Lee Valley transformed like this, it's weird to see it go back to it's formal self again. I think we need more glaring red spot lights and DJ sets, it certainly changed the mindset of the spectators and riders alike.
Can't wait to see 6 Day return to London again, this time I'll be a little more prepared for what's to come, but for now I'm calling it the best last minute decision I've made.
Full photo set Here.