It’s all about the Brits as Latham and Wood take Six Day London centre stage on day three at velodrome
Monday may have been all about Kenny De Ketele and Moreno De Pauw, but the British duo of Chris Latham and Ollie Wood stole the show on Tuesday evening with a hat-trick of sensational victories at the Lee Valley VeloPark to take the overall lead at Six Day London.
Belgian duo De Ketele and De Pauw were caught out early by Denmark’s Michael and Jesper Morkov, who stole a lap in the 20km madison along with six other teams.
Three-time track cycling world champion Morgan Kneisky of France and Germany’s Lucas Liss were not far behind, finishing second, but then followed that up with a third-place finish in the 400m madison TT.
British partners Latham and Wood continued their form from Monday to win that event, with De Ketele and De Pauw back on song in second.
And Latham and Wood were not finished there, as the British support almost took the roof off the velodrome when the pair stormed to a sensational team elimination victory – surging past Six Day legend Iljo Keisse and Gijs van Hoecke on the final lap.
Jasper Asselman snatched a win for Team 11 in the first derny heat, before Michael Morkov managed his second victory of the evening in the other ahead of Niki Terpstra.
But despite De Pauw earning them a second place in their derny heat, Team 18 were knocked off top spot in the final chase when Latham and Wood’s late attack earned them a valuable lap back and saw them climb to the top on points.
“We came close to winning on Monday and we won the Madison time trial tonight but to get three wins, I don’t think you can beat that,” said Latham.
“Now we just need to try and keep with the leaders, keep getting laps on them and hopefully on the last night we’ll smash out a few more laps.”
Wood added: “I’m really happy with the win, we’ve just come from the Euros and form is a bit hit and miss so to come into this and do really well, I’m really happy with that.
“When it comes down to just centimetres that extra bit of encouragement from the crowd spurs you on and in this place it can take the roof off.
“It can all change here as you’ve seen in the Madison with a lot of laps up for grabs but hopefully we’ll stay towards the top. It’s been quality to win a Six Day, when we came here I didn’t think we’d do this well and to win it would be a dream.”
De Ketele and De Pauw are still in the hunt in second place, 12 points off the pace, with Keisse and van Hoecke also dangerously close in third.
British Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy was also in attendance at Lee Valley VeloPark.
He said: “I’ve raced in many Six Days all across Europe and they all have their own individual flavour, but you can see that London is going to establish theirs this week.
“The crowds make the event really. It’s all about the atmosphere and the noise. It’s a lot of fun. Music lights and entertainment.
“It’s fantastic to see the London Olympic stadium used again for a totally different kind of event from 2012.
“A Six Day on home soil? We’ve been waiting for this for 30 years.”
Britain’s Matthew ‘The legs’ Rotherham and Russian powerhouse Denis Dmitriev did the damage for the sprinters on Monday, and that trend continued again with Dmitriev doing what he could not the previous night and pipping Rotherham in the 200m flying TT.
Rotherham did manage to shake off his rustiness in the Keirin however, and after not even making the final on Monday finished second behind Kazunari Watanabe – the Japanese Olympian celebrating his first win of the week in his favourite event.
Tomas Babek and Eric Balzer finished third and fourth once again, with Dmitriev a costly fifth after not progressing out of his semi-final.
But the big Russian forced Germany’s Sacha Hubner out of his path for a place in the last sprint final of the evening to set up another showdown with Rotherham, and edged out the Bolton rider on the final bend to retain his overall sprinters lead by two points.
And there was more success still for the Brits in the velodrome, as Tristan Robbins and Angus Claxton retained the lead and sealed overall success at the end of the Under-23 Talent Cup.
The pair stole a lap on the field with a stunning performance on Monday evening’s 40km madison, and smartly were not distracted by the sprints on Tuesday to ensure they kept that advantage.
Six Day London is at Lee Valley VeloPark between 18-23 Oct – tickets now on sale at www.sixday.com. Come and see the world’s best track cyclists in action and be part of an electric party atmosphere at London’s Olympic Velodrome.