Sutton cycling starlet Andrew Bradshaw believes it was the roof-raising support of the crowd that spurred him on in the 1878 Cup as part of Six Day London 2016.
The 1878 Cup sees the best young talent from around the world compete in a 40km Madison race across three consecutive nights at the Lee Valley VeloPark.
Raced in teams of two, the Madison sees riders perform a handsling to give their partners the best possible chance to take laps from the opposition, also looking to take points in intermediate sprints across the 160-lap event.
It gave Bradshaw and partner Rory Mackay a chance to take to the Velodrome ahead of the likes of world champions Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins, pitting their wits against the top under-21 racers from across the globe.
And while the pair finished just outside of the top ten, 17-year-old Bradshaw admits it’s given them a perfect taste of what they hope is to come in their cycling futures.
“The event has definitely stepped up this year compared to last year. The sell out crowd is really good,” said the Velo Club Londres rider.
“It is easy to feed off and, especially with the DJ whipping them up, you can definitely hear them and it’s nice when there’s people you know in the crowd.
“Being from London ourselves, you ride around and you hear someone shout your name and you go ‘oh that’s actually for me’.”
Six Day London is the first leg in a brand-new series of racing.
The world’s best riders – including Six Day London 2015 champions Kenny de Ketele and Moreno de Pauw from Belgium – will also travel to Amsterdam, Berlin and Copenhagen before facing off in the grand final in Mallorca in March.
And for Bradshaw, a chance to compete in the 1878 Cup is something he hopes can lift his abilities higher and higher, hoping to pick up a few tips from the professionals along the way.
“The legs seemed to feel better as they competition went on – we warmed up slowly into the event but we got there in the end,” he continued.
“Racing 40k doesn’t sound like a lot, but on the track it’s pretty relentless so we definitely felt the pain!
“Rory and I have worked together a couple of times this year and we’re both comfortable with each other. We know our strengths which will help us going forward.”
Six Day London took place between 25-30 October 2016 at Lee Valley VeloPark on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Half term fun, with or without the kids. Tickets for next year go on general sale on Wednesday from 11am at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/sixdaylondon