A sold out crowd at the Lee Valley VeloPark could not have asked for a better end to their night than seeing Mark Cavendish sprint to Madison victory on day two of London Six Day, according to his old partner, Rob Hayles.
The duo won world Madison gold in 2005, with the Manxman since going on to win the title twice more with Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Cavendish’s sprint victory on day two of the second London Six Day meet meant he and Wiggins climbed up to second in the standings, 19 points behind defending champions Kenny de Ketele and Moreno de Pauw.
The quartet are two of four pairs split only by points in the general classification, and Hayles does not know which way it will go in the next four nights.
Six Day cycling starts at the Olympic velodrome on Tuesday and here is your guide to the action
“That final Madison was electric, wasn’t it?” said the former rider. “I don’t think the crowd could have asked for a better winner, but the way that they won and the way that the race went out there – that first 30 minutes was absolutely non-stop – and only then was there a four-minute lull where everybody just regrouped and got themselves ready for the final few laps.
“In the end Wiggins, he did the work that he needed to do, he did the leg work and Mark Cavendish waited for that final sprint, came in at the opportune moment and unfortunately for de Pauw and de Ketele, they weren’t quite able to get there.
“There were incredible scenes out there and I think they really rose to the occasion and the crowd loved it.”
Wiggins, who is racing in his final event on home soil before retirement, was equally excited with the way the racing had developed on the night.
“I’ve got to go down the job centre next month so I’d much rather be doing this,” said the five-time Olympic champion.
“We just wanted to make a bit of a statement tonight to the other guys. I think Cav was a bit tired the previous night with jet lag. We just thought to give it some beans and it’s been a good night.”
With a 19 point lead over their nearest rivals and stellar pedigree in Six Day racing, Belgian duo of de Ketele and de Pauw go into the final four days as the team to beat.
Six-time world track champion Cameron Meyer sits in third place overall with his young partner Callum Scotson.
The Six Day debutant once again impressed in the Longest Lap event, taking second behind Britain’s Chris Latham, after winning the race on the opening night.
And with Meyer giving a show of strength to take a commanding victory in his Derny race, Hayles picked out the Aussies as a team to watch in the remaining four days.
“Cameron Meyer a multiple world champion in his own right,” he said. “And Callum Scotson, he’s 21-years-old and he’s already world team pursuit champion in this very velodrome earlier on in the year.
“They’re looking very ominous between them, with the youth and the experience they really will be a force to be reckoned with.”
Hayles has been on hand in the London 2012 velodrome to host the action alongside OJ Borg, and he picked out the crowd-pleasing Derny races for any newcomer to Six Day, to keep an eye out for.
“For me day three is all about the dernies. I just love it – the noise, the smell – and the action,” he concluded.
“Anything can happen out there. I’m just looking forward to seeing the next three-abreast, coming in for that final sprint.”
Six Day London takes place between October 25 and 30 at Lee Valley VeloPark on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Half term fun, with or without the kids. Tickets on sale now at sixday.com