Excitement building as Six Day Series draws to a close
Four Six Day Series events, 24 days of high action racing, thousands of fans cheering across Europe, and it all comes down to this: The Six Day Series Final.
Awash with talent, 12 of the best racing duos from across the globe will take to the Mallorcan boards on Friday night for the very first final, all looking for the honour of being Six Day Series champion.
Currently in pole position for the crown are Kenny de Ketele and Moreno de Pauw, with the Belgians certainly the team to beat throughout the competition having amassed an impressive 360 Series points thus far.
That was largely due to a stunning showing at Six Day London – the first event this season – usurping home favourites Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish on the final Madison chase – a strong indication of more thrills to come on the track.
That included further domination in Amsterdam, taking top spot with a blistering display and more than 550 points, with two titles from two events the perfect way to begin the season.
But with the strength in depth that the Six Day Series possesses, you can only write people off at your peril.
Dutch duo Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga currently occupy second place heading to Mallorca, on 235 points, while Leif Lampater and Marcel Kalz round off the top three a further 59 points behind.
That means there is certainly everything up for grabs come Friday night, with the men's competition seeing them take part in a 20 minute Madison, 15km Points race and team elimination in their bid to wow the Mallorca crowds.
But that's not all, with the race for the Six Day Series champion's trophy set to go down to the very last event of the season – the 60-minute Madison chase.
Even with the Belgians' impressive lead, the night is certainly no foregone conclusion, with Havik – Six Day Berlin winner with Stroetinga – keen to show what he can do in front of a sizeable crowd once more.
"I've really enjoyed riding with Wim as a regular partner, hopefully it's the future of Six Day cycling," he said.
"After our win in Berlin we were getting some really positive comments, the Dutch public want a competitive team do the Series has really worked well.
"In London we were in really good shape too, missed a few things in Amsterdam, but have made a really good partnership since. We knew what we wanted from each other, where I needed to place Wim before the sprints, we were working way better than the first times.
"I think the Series was really good with the points you accumulate to qualify for the final.
"I know some of the guys were really intent on qualifying, and the guys from sixth to 12th all wanted to place themselves high enough in Copenhagen to qualify for Mallorca."
One of those pairs joining Lampater and Kalz will be Britain's Chris Latham and Andy Tennant – albeit in rather fortunate circumstances, sneaking in by the skin of their teeth.
But despite missing the top ten, the pair have more than impressed to take numerous race wins in both London and Berlin, delivering some expert performances despite missing the last two races of the Series.
The form of London is something Latham, somewhat of a Longest Lap specialist, is looking to take with him to Mallorca, winning at least one race in five of the six days on his home tracks.
"It was a relief as much as anything to be in, but it's very good and now we're just looking to make the most of the opportunity we have," he said.
"I've had a chance to race on the roads of Mallorca for a bit so it should be excellent. Next is about upping the speed and hopefully we can be competitive.
"But we know there are a lot of strong teams. The Belgians have been brilliant, as have all the teams in the top three, the standard is so high so we need to be at our best across the whole night.
"We've taken top spot in a few individual races so we're definitely more than competitive, and if we can put a few of those together who knows what can happen on the night."