The London Six-Day launched by Prime Minister Gordon Brown from Downing Street a year ago and planned for this October has been postponed to March, 2010, due in part to lack of sponsorship.
Event Director Tony Doyle MBE, the former European Six-Day Champion, making the announcement today, said: “Whilst every effort has been made to secure the event going ahead, a number of elements have made it unattainable”
“Lack of sponsorship in the challenging climate for a 2009 event have unfortunately taken effect. The good news is all the hard work for the event’s preparations for this year will not be wasted as we are currently looking at a new date in March 2010.”
The event was to open the Winter indoor Six-Day racing season and is to be staged in the London Borough of Newham as part of the London cycling festival on the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games.
A temporary velodrome is being considered to house the portable track used for the Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Maastrict events.
There has been speculation that the O2 arena in Greenwich of the Excel exhibition centre across the Thames might house the event.
Six-Day racing originated in London in 1878, at the Agricultural Hall in Islington – this classical Victorian masterpiece is now the Business Design Centre. The gruelling sport spread to Canada and the USA where it remained popular for half-a century. Today the winter programme of Sixes command big crowds in Europe, predominantly in Belgium and Germany.
The Six was popular in Britain, where big crowds were drawn to the London Sixes in the 1930s, and again when the event was reintroduced in 1968 through the 1970s until the last one in 1980.