Top teams cancel each other out as Australians Howard and O'Brien take London Six lead

Six teams remain on the same lap at the event's half way point

Leigh Howard celebrates victory in the derny race on the third night of the 2018 London Six Day (John Walton/PA Wire.)
(Image credit: PA Wire/PA Images)

Points made the only difference on the third night of the London Six Day on Thursday, with the leading teams otherwise cancelling each other out.

For the second day overnight leaders Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga suffered in the team elimination, losing their overall lead, and were unable to score in the ensuing Madison, apparently trying only to take laps. 

Meanwhile their immediate general classification rivals were scoring well.

Having taken the lead from the Dutch duo, Germans Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt rode a canny Madison, reacting to attacks and scoring well, and were apparently set to finish the evening leading overall.

However, that prize went to Australians Leigh Howard and Kelland O’Brien who also scored well, and went on to take an excellent win in the night's closing race, the 40 lap Derny race.

Havik and Stroetinga are now second, while Germans Kluge and Reinhardt are third.

As they were on Wednesday, the top six teams remain on the same number of laps, with the gap between them now only  37 points.

How it happened

The night opened with an all action Madison, Brit pairing Chris Latham and Andy Tennant attacking from the gun, taking a lap to reach the provisional overall lead. Overnight leaders Havik and Stroetinga soon followed suit and the stage was set for a fascinating race which never settled down.

Havik and Stroetinga eventually won the race, extending their overall lead, with Latham and Tennant finishing third, one of six teams to have taken three laps.

In an event which waxed and waned, Wojciech Pszczolarski rode patiently to win the opening Derny race, moving up the standings courtesy of the winner’s 20 points. A number of teams had tried long range efforts, but the Pole’s timing was perfect, hitting the front just before the line.

Brave efforts from Brits Jon Dibben and Fred Wright - who eventually finished third - were in vain, as New Zealander Shane Archbold won the 7.5km Points race. The race was contested by teams lower on the general classification, the better placed teams biding their time.

Havik and Stroetinga finally lost their lead in the Team Elimination, both finding themselves off the back and eventually excluded half way through the race.

It was a scintillating attack from Andy Tenant which brought him and team mate Chris Latham the victory, while third place for Kluge and Reinhardt saw them move into the provisional general classification lead going into the final Madison of the night.

At 20 minutes, the race was short but none the worse for it. As they did yesterday, the general classification teams cancelled each other out, allowing the Dutch team of Nick Stöpler and Melvin Van Zijl to fight for the win with Belgians Jules Hesters and Otto Vergaerde who took the victory.

The final event of the night was the 40 lap Derny, and it was former British road champion Adam Blythe who stamped his name on the race.

Attacking from the gun, he was close to catching the back of the field at one point. however, he was unable to hold on and it was victory for the Australians, who scored the points which took them into the overall lead. 

The Eisberg sprinters started with a bang, German Max Levy setting a time of 10.102, the fastest 200, time trial time ever recorded in the London Six. In a reversal of the previous two nights Levy went on to win the final against his compatriot Robert Förstemann.

Lewis Oliva, who has been improving throughout the week closed the sprinter’s night with victory in the Keirin, though Levy’s performances mean he overhauled Förstemann in the sprinter’s classification.

Two victories in the three night 1878 cup for Under 21 riders handed overall victory to Belgian Nicolas Wernimont and his Irish partner Xeno Young.

The Under 21 competition will be replaced for the final three nights by a women's event.

Phynova London Six Day - Standings after day three

1. Leigh Howard and Kelland O’Brien (Aus) 0 laps, 237 points

2. Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga (Ned) 0 laps, 228 points

3. Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt (Ger) 0 laps, 225 points

4. Marc Hester and Jesper Mørkøv (Den) 0 laps, 211 points

5. Wojciech Pszczolarski Daniel Staniszewski (Pol) 0 laps, 208 points

6. Chris Latham and Andy Tennant (Gbr) 0 laps, 200 points

7. Jules Hesters and Otto Vergaerde (Bel) -1 lap, 201 points

8. Nick Stöpler and Melvin Van Zijl (Ned) -2 laps, 179 points

9. Andreas Graf and Andreas Müller (Aut) -3 laps, 99 points

10. Shane Archbold and Aaron Gate (NZ) -7 laps, 117 points

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Owen Rogers is an experienced journalist, covering professional cycling and specialising in women's road racing. He has followed races such as the Women's Tour and Giro d'Italia Donne, live-tweeting from Women's WorldTour events as well as providing race reports, interviews, analysis and news stories. He has also worked for race teams, to provide post race reports and communications.