Six Day Series

The Six Day Series or Six Day Cycling Series is an annual series of track cycling events run by Madison Sports Group featuring world class cyclists. The series, organised for the first time in the 2016–17 season, was formed to develop an elite-level competition series around the globe and combines track cycling with a party atmosphere.[1] The aim was to rejuvenate the once flagging format and provide enticing rewards for cyclists during the road cycling off season.

Six Day Series
2018–19 Six Day Series
Race details
DateOctober – April
RegionLondon (since 2016)
Berlin (since 2016)
Copenhagen (since 2016)
Melbourne (since 2019)
Hong Kong (since 2019)
Manchester (since 2019)
Brisbane (since 2019)
TypeSix-day racing series
OrganiserMadison Sports Group
First edition2016 (2016)
Editions3 seasons (as of 2018–19)

The series initially comprised four meetings each season, held between October and April, each held on six consecutive days. Each season ended with a final event, qualification for which was granted through the previous six day events.

The 2018–19 season consists of 7 events across 5 countries. With the additions of Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia, which is the first time the series has run outside of Europe. This is intended as an expansion strategy to attract new viewers and business opportunities.[2] In January 2019, an event in Hong Kong was announced as a new stage to introduce 6-day racing to Asia.[3] The Hong Kong and Australian rounds will be held on 3-day weekends instead of the standard 6-day format.


Six Day Cycling originated in Britain in 1877. Initially, riders competed individually, with the winner being the individual who completed the most laps over six days. However, this format was changed in the early 20th century to teams of two so one rider could race while the other rested, in order to keep the race continually going.

The success of the madison format in the United States led to their introduction in Europe. The first was at Toulouse in 1906, although it was abandoned after three days because of a lack of interest.[4] Berlin then tried the format, three years later, this time with success. Five races were held in Germany in 1911–12. Brussels followed in 1912 and Paris in 1913.

Six-day races continued to do well in Europe. Its heart was in Germany - except during the Nazi period when the races were banned - but it was strong, too, in Belgium and France. In 1923 the journalist Egon Erwin Kisch attended the tenth staging of the Six Days of Berlin and wrote a celebrated piece "Elliptische Tretmuehle" (Elliptical Treadmill). London saw one race at Olympia in July 1923,[5] and then a series of races at Wembley starting in 1936. Local rider Frank Southall crashed and left for hospital. So did another British hope, Syd Cozens. Only nine of the 15 teams lasted the race.[4] The series continued, with more success, until the start of World War II in 1939.

Today, the 24-hours-a-day regime has been abandoned, with the Six Day format involving six nights of racing, typically from 6pm to 2am, on indoor tracks (velodromes).

Event hosts

Current hosts

Event Venue City Duration Joined
6 Day Series
Scheduled Ref
Six Days of LondonLondon VelodromeLondon6 days2016–171923October
Six Days of BerlinVelodromBerlin6 days2016–171909January[6]
Six Days of CopenhagenBallerup Super ArenaCopenhagen6 days2016–171933Jan-Feb
Six Days of MelbourneMelbourne ArenaMelbourne3 days2018–192019Feb[7]
Six Days of Hong KongHong Kong VelodromeHong Kong3 days2018–192019March[3]
Six Days of ManchesterManchester VelodromeManchester3 days2018–192019March
Six Days of Brisbane (Final)Anna Meares VelodromeBrisbane3 days2018–192019April[7]

The World Series was originally scheduled to consist of six events in the 2018–19 season. Hong Kong was added between the Melbourne and Manchester races in the latest update during January 2019.

Most of these competitions began after they were added to the World Series, but with certain exceptions. The oldest of these meetings is the Six Days of Berlin, which dates back to 1909.[8]

Other competitions that pre-date the Series include the Six Days of London at Wembley (which ran from 1923 to 1980 intermittently and was then disbanded, until it returned in the 2016–17 season as a leg on the Series) and the Six Days of Copenhagen which began in 1933.[9]

Previous hosts

Event Venue City Duration Joined
6 Day Series
Last race Ref
Six Days of AmsterdamVelodrome AmsterdamAmsterdam6 days2016–1719322017[10]
Six Days of Mallorca (Final)Palma ArenaMallorca1 day2016–1720172018[11]

See also


  1. "What is Six Day?". Six Day Series. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  2. "Track Cycling: Brisbane Secures Six Day Track Series World Final". Bicycling Australia. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  3. "Nieuw evenement: 'Six Day Hong Kong". Baanwacht. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  4. Islington 1878-Wembley 1951, Coureur, UK, undated cutting
  5. "1923 - The First of the Modern Era". Six Day Cycle Race. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  6. "Sport briefs". Newcastle Herald. Fairfax. 8 December 1999. p. 89. Archived from the original on 25 May 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  7. "Track Cycling: Counting Down To The Six Day Melbourne & Brisbane Indoor Events". Bicycling Australia. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  8. "6 jours de Berlin (Allemagne)". Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  9. "1980 - Allen & Clark Take The Final Race". Six Day Cycle Race. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  10. "Amsterdam no longer part of the Six-Day series". Cyclist. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  11. "Six Day London confirms line-up". Cyclingnews. Retrieved 21 January 2019.

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