Mark Cavendish powers past Caleb Ewan to take Derny victory on opening night of Six Day London

The all-star line-up did battle on the boards of the iconic London velodrome

Mark Cavendish soared past Caleb Ewan to take victory in the 40 lap Derny on the first evening of racing at Six Day London.

The British sprint star went head-to-head with his rival and friend Ewan during the final lap of the last event of the night.

Racing opened at the Lee Valley VeloPark in east London on Tuesday night (October 22), with the 20-minute Madison chase kicking things off.

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German pair Theo Reinhardt and Maximilian Beyer took victory in that first race, with Italian duo Elia Viviani and Simone Consonni taking fourth, while Cavendish and his partner Owain Doull were fifth.

Next up was the first 40-lap Derny race, where France’s Bryan Coquard took the honours, while in the 7.5km Points Race, Australia’s Joshua Scott took victory.

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The Team Elimination was won by Viviani and Consonni, and then the 25-minute Madison Chase went to Adrian Hegyvary and Daniel Holloway from the USA.

This set up the final race of the night, the second 40-lap Derny.

Caleb Ewan was leading the race heading into the final lap, but a remarkable turn of speed from Cavendish on the penultimate turn set up a drag race on the back straight, before Ewan began to fade fast and Cavendish took the lead on the last bank.

He crossed the line well clear of Ewan to huge roars from the home crowds.

The general classification after the first night is led by the French, Bryan Coquard and Donavan Grondin, who lead by a lap and sit on 100 points.

Germans Theo Reinhardt and Maximilian Beyer are second at one lap down and on 72 points, followed by Danes Mark Hester and Oliver Wulff on 52 points.

Viviani and Consonni sit fifth overall, while Cavendish and Doull are seventh.

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The men’s sprint competition also got underway, as Maximilian Levy (Ger) won the 200m Flying Time Trial, Irelands’ Eoin Mullen won the sprint and Japanese rider Yuta Obara won the Keirin.

Levy leads the sprinter’s classification with 43 points, with Mullen second and Robert Forstëmann third.

In the 1878 Cup for under-21 racers, the 40km <adison was won by Dutch pair Vincent Hoppezak and Philip Heijnen.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.