The History of 6 Day

Bright lights, complimentary bars and an adrenaline-fueled schedule of racing; the Six Day Series combines world class track cycling and VIP hospitality to create a sporting experience like no other. Six Day hasn’t always been like this however and has a long and illustrious past which deserves some exploration.

The very first Six Day event was held way back in 1878 in London and was born from the wager of a Mr David Stanton, who bet £100 that we could 1000 miles in six successive days. Completing the challenge in 73 hours, this set the seed for more cycling events to follow in the coming years across the continent.

In 1891, the word of Six Day had crossed the Atlantic Ocean and the first events where held in Madison Square Gardens. These would be very financially rewarding for the victor, but extremely detrimental to the physical and mental health of the riders. Some athletes would ride for 24 hours each day!

It was clear that things had to change to protect the participants health. Furthermore, the sheer physical demand of the race encouraged cheating by participants. Some would hire other riders and put them in disguise to slug out the hard miles over night whilst they slept!

Teams would soon consist of two riders with only one on track at a given time. Riders would change over by a ‘hand sling’ which is a tradition which still lives on today. The event soared in popularity in America, attracting celebrities and capacity crowds. This was until the Second World War and its resulting consequences sadly lead to Six Day’s demise in the United States of America.

Racing in Europe was also hit hard by the Second World War, but despite their success prior to the conflict, Six Day struggled to reach similar heights in a post-war Europe. Races continued from 1945 but as costs grew and fans swindled, the event faded until it was no more.

Fast forward to 2015 where the aptly named Madison Sports Group introduced a reborn version of Six Day which consisted of six events held around the world; together creating the Six Day Series. Gone are the 24 hour races, the cheating and old, weary bicycles. These have been replaced with modern race disciplines, world class velodromes and the best riders on the planet who share countless World and Olympic titles between them.

With Six Day events held in both London and Manchester and the international success of British riders in all forms of cycling, the UK has become synonymous with on track bike racing. Six Day has attracted some of the biggest stars on the circuit including Sir Bradley Wiggins, Laura Kenny and Mark Cavendish to entertain packed velodromes and create an electric atmosphere.

There is only one place to be during the Six Day events and that is inside the track itself where Sportsworld our proud to offer two VIP Hospitality options. The Madison Bar is located in the heart of the action and available on every evening at the cycling extravaganza, whilst the exclusive Inner Circle is only available at the London Lee Valley Velodrome. Here you can rub shoulders with the finest riders whilst enjoying full hospitality right next to the finish line. Available on only the Thursday and Friday of the Six Day event, reserve your place today to this unique experience.

How times have changed? Six Day has been revitalised into, not just a highly competitive world class cycling event, but also an evening of unique entertainment and hospitality. Six Day is by no means an experience aimed at just cycling fans, it instead attracts people from all demographics looking to be wowed by the bright lights, party atmosphere and pulsating on track racing.

More information and prices on Sportsworld’s first class hospitality can be found here and we would love to answer any questions you may have by phone on +44 (0)203 314 8255 or by email.

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