SIR BRADLEY WIGGINS SAYS GOODBYE DURING THE SIX DAYS IN GHENT
British cycling icons Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, the reigning world Madison champions, will combine forces in November at the Lotto 6 Days Flanders-Ghent.
Sir Bradley Wiggins will bring the curtain down on a glittering career in November in the city he was born in, heading across the English Channel to Belgium to ride the Six Days of Ghent, an event that as a toddler he saw his late father Gary compete in.
“I have to go back to my historical base and the Ghent Six Day, which is where I want it to end,” Wiggins said. “My first memory as a child is being there, with my dad when he was racing, and the place hasn’t changed. It’ll be a nice place to end my career.”
Wiggins will team up with Cavendish. Both riders are household names due to their exploits in road cycling. Wiggins became Britain’s first ever Tour de France winner in 2012, while Cavendish is the most successful sprinter of all time with 30 stage wins at the Tour de France. They also enjoyed considerable success on the track and often together in one team, with their phenomenal win at the world Madison championships in March as their latest achievement together. Wiggins won his fourth Olympic gold medal on the track inRio (bringing his total to five), is a quadruple world champion and holds the World Hour Record. While Cavendish, a three-time Madison World Champion, also won a silver medal in the Omnium at theOlympics.
Wiggins and Cavendish are no strangers to the Kuipke Velodrome in Ghent either. Wiggins won his very first six-day race in 2003 alongside Matthew Gilmore. In 2007 Sir Bradley returned to his place of birth with Cavendish, who had made his debut in 2005 as a neo pro. In 2014 Cavendish just missed out on the victory with Iljo Keisse. He’s determined to finally get his win with Bradley Wiggins …
“My earliest memory of watching a cycle race was in Ghent in 1986 when I was six,” recalls Wiggins who was born in Ghent. “I rode my first Ghent Six Day when I was 19 so it’s kind of fitting that that’s where the last one will be. I think also, because of the nostalgia involved with it, the history of the velodrome, it is a special place: Merckx, Sercu and all the rest used to race there. For me Ghent was always going to be the end.”
“It’s always exciting to ride at an event as historic as Ghent 6, but to be riding as World Champion with Brad, in his final year, will be something very sentimental. After a close 2nd place in my last appearance with Iljo, a win would be the perfect way to close out Brad and my partnership on the bike.”
“Teaming up for Ghent was their own idea,” says organiser Rob Discart. “At the end of last year we had already been in touch with Cavendish and this spring we’d been informed about interest from Wiggins to compete as well. After their success at the world championships in London they confirmed their ambitions and things gained traction. Of course we were very keen to have them with us and that brilliant world title is the icing on the cake. We are very proud to have two of the biggest icons of contemporary cycling at the start of our 76th edition.”
When?: November, 15-20: 6 Days of Ghent
Where: Kuipke, Ghent
Information and tickets: www.z6sdaagse.be
Bring money for some beers.