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2009 - The Race That Never Was

Velocity6-anim-legoHere are some clippings from the media, in date order, about what was to be the next London Six in 2009 staged under the VeloCity6 banner.

Hoy backs bid to resurrect six-day racing in London
Credit: Richard Moore in Rotterdam, The Guardian, 9 January 2008
Six-day racing looks set to return to London in September after organisers of the Rotterdam Six-Day, which finished last night, confirmed they are in talks to stage an event on a temporary velodrome in Greenwich, inside a giant tent on land near the O2 Arena.
It is bound to appeal to romantics and opportunists alike. Six-day racing is said to have originated in London in 1878 and, if the event materialises, it could provide a showcase for Britain's track cyclists, who are tipped to return laden with medals from the Beijing Olympics.
"We have been presenting to organisations in London," said Frank Boelé, director of the International Six Day Organisation, which runs the Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Maastricht events. "There isn't a suitable venue so we proposed a semi-permanent one next to the O2 Arena. It would hold 4,000 spectators and it would be in place for a month, allowing for community and youth cycling events as well as the main six-day race."
Boelé added: "In 1996 when England hosted the European Championship, they said football was coming home. I say that if we can stage a London Six it will mean that six-day cycling is coming home."
Chris Hoy, the Olympic champion, welcomed the news. "I've always said it's a pity that we don't have a six-day event in Britain," he said. "I think it would be fantastic. In Rotterdam we've been getting 10,000 spectators a night and the atmosphere is incredible. I see no reason why people wouldn't come out to support a London Six, especially when you consider that Britain now has arguably the world's strongest track cycling team."

Six Day racing to London?
Cycling News, 10 January, 2008
The International Six Day Organisation has confirmed it plans to hold a Six Day track event in London next September, to be staged in a temporary velodrome in Greenwich, according to The Guardian. The velodrome would sit inside a giant tent near the O2 Arena - previously the Millennium Dome.
"We have been presenting to organisations in London," said director Frank Boelé, whose organisation also runs the Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Maastricht Six Days. "There isn't a suitable venue so we proposed a semi-permanent one next to the O2 Arena. It would hold 4,000 spectators and it would be in place for a month, allowing for community and youth cycling events as well as the main six-day race." ...
Six Day racing is believed to have begun in London in 1878 and would surely be popular again given Great Britain's position as a dominant force in track cycling. "In 1996 when England hosted the European Championship, they said football was coming home. I say that if we can stage a London Six it will mean that six-day cycling is coming home," said Boelé.

GORDON BROWN ENDORSES PLANS FOR LONDON SIX-DAY
Credit: 26 June 2008, Keith Bingham, Cycling Weekly
Prime minister Gordon Brown today hosted a reception to announce plans for a major new annual international Six-Day Race and cycling festival in London in 2009, three years before the London Olympic Games.

Speaking at a reception in Downing Street - an unprecedented occasion reflecting the growing stature of cycling - the Prime Minister congratulated the festival promoter, the former double world champion and six-day star Tony Doyle MBE, for his enterprise.

“And it will give the public an opportunity to see world class athletes perform in London three years ahead of the 2012 Olympics. This six-day event you will be promoting will send a message to the whole of the UK and hopefully around the world, the importance that we attach to cycling.”

London Six Day Festival update
Credit: 1 Jul 2008, Tony Farrelly, BikeRadar
More details are emerging about next year’s six day cycling meet due to be held in the London Borough of Newham. Speaking to BikeRadar, London Six organiser Tony Doyle, revealed that the event was already on the 2009/10 UCI International Calendar, and that it will be televised. It won’t be a one-off either, the organisers have struck a three year deal with Newham with an option to renew.
The London Six will be the first event of the 2009/10 six day season and will run from the 1-6 October 2009 at a venue still to be confirmed.
What we do know though is that the world’s top six day racers will take part as will Britain’s top track stars. The racers will ride a portable track – described by Doyle as one of the best in the world – which is also used for the Rotterdam Six.
Speaking about possible venues Mr Doyle said that a number of sites were being looked at as was the possibility of using a semi-permanent unit. One big factor in the choice of location will be its accessibility for Newham’s schools.

London Six-Day postponed until March 2010
Credit: 1 Sept 2009, Keith Bingham, Cycling Weekly
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 or the Excel exhibition centre across the Thames might house the event.

LONDON EXCEL SIX-DAY RACE POSTPONED
Credit: Club web site, 2-Sep-2009
“There was an update from Tony Doyle today - Due to a number of reasons it's been decided to postpone the London Six until the end of the winter Six Day Series. And so now it will take place in March 2010 (just before the Copenhagen-based World Track championships) instead of this October. Hopefully the website wil be updated soon to reflect this at
www.velocity6.com” [Ed - as at 2-May-2011 no updates were online. And then the website went off the air!]

Interview with Track Staff
Credit: 30-Oct-2009 by Edmond Hood, Pez Cycling News
Kris: “London will be back, next winter, Tony Doyle assures me; the story is that they are waiting until the London Olympic Velodrome opens. The Dutch are doing the most with races like Appeldoorn - that's on at the same time as Zurich, but it let's the smaller riders get a chance.”
But it's like Franco Marvulli says; "the riders are going to have to start thinking more about the future!"

Credit: 11-Nov-2009, Cycling Weekly
Tony Doyle's attempt to get the London Six-Day established on a temporary track situated in Newham is on hold, having missed the original October date.

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