Germain Burton may have followed in his father’s footsteps by taking part in last week’s inaugural Six Day London but the Norbury cyclist is confident he is just getting started.
After growing up on tales about his father Maurice who rode 56 professional Six Day events and retired from competitive cycling in 1984, Burton wrote his own name into the family history books when he took to the boards at London’s LeeValley VeloPark.
It was the first time the capital had hosted a Six Day event in 35 years, with the home crowd certainly making the most of the opportunity, throwing their support behind the British riders.
Burton, who is now based in Manchester, was riding alongside close friend Mark Stewart and put in a number of encouraging performances before eventually finishing tenth overall.
Victory went to Belgium duo Kenny De Ketele and Moreno De Pauw with Chris Latham and Ollie Wood the highest-placed Brits in second.
And after getting a taste of Six Day London, Burton is itching for more.
“It’s definitely been an incredible week, especially the final couple of days as the crowds were massive,” he said.
“It definitely makes a big difference to be a British team here in our first Six Day, as everyone really got behind us and it was unbelievable.
“We didn’t really know what to expect coming into it, but we did feel very strong and we are happy with our performance overall as we bagged ourselves a few wins.
“We really enjoyed it too so hopefully we will be back again next year and for many years to come.
“You definitely learn a lot at these kinds of races. It’s full-on stuff, and you need 100% concentration all of the time.
“Momentary slip-ups can be very costly, even if we didn’t have any crashes luckily.
“It was a top field and to race with these guys was incredible. Mark is also one of my best mates and my housemate, so to partner with him here at our first Six Day was great.
“My dad made his name in Six Days so it is nice to follow in his footsteps if you like. He made a career out of it and I’d love to be able to emulate that and ride Six Days for a number of years.”
A member of Great Britain’s Under-23 Academy, Burton will now turn his attention towards putting in the hard yards over the winter months.
And the 20-year-old admitted he and Stewart were relishing the chance to show what they can do on the road next year.
“Over the winter we’ll focus on the track and both of us are with the Great Britain under-23 academy,” he added.
“Hopefully we’ll get a ride in a few more Six Days and potentially a World Cup round as well. So we’ve got a lot to look forward to.
“We’re moving out to north Italy at the end of January to be based out there for next season doing the top under-23 road races.
“So definitely come the end of the winter we’ll be really ready to get back on the road.”
Six Day London took place at Lee Valley VeloPark – www.sixday.com.
Packed crowds came and watched the world’s best track cyclists in action and to be part of an electric party atmosphere at London’s Olympic Velodrome.
Picture courtesy of Alex Whitehead/SW Pix, with thanks