Americans Guy East and madison teammate Daniel Holloway are currently in Europe racing professional track races in a popular format called 6 Day Racing.
“Amsterdam’s six-day means a lot, it’s full of passion, where the six days began,” East explained. “It’s a cool race, a quaint stadium. It’s really close as opposed to a big arena. The stadium’s small but it’s a big one to win.”
East pairs with Daniel Holloway for the six days, October 21 to 26. The duo raced on and off for the last three to four years but Holloway never raced on the Amsterdam track before. East did so twice in the UIV Talent Cup.
Yesterday, they arrived, rode bikes around the city’s streets and tested the Velodrome Amsterdam.
“I’d hardly ever done a Madison before when I came in 2007. I had zero Madison experience, I was missing exchanges right and left,” East said. “In America it’s all 300 or 333 metres, but here the track’s 200 meters, painted and narrow.”
With Austin Carroll racing the Talent Cup, East won in Dortmund, took second place in Ghent and finished third in Munich. Now racing with the professionals, he hopes for a top eight in Amsterdam.
“The key to winning is consistency throughout the race,” East added. “It’s going to be full-gas every night. Everyone wants to win, so you need consistency.”
The American duo wants through to Rotterdam and Berlin this six-day season. For 26-year-old East, Amsterdam’s six-day, the start of the season, like the day before summer vacation begins: excitement, anticipation and reflection.
“I want to win a six day! It’s just a style of racing that I’m in love with because of the history, because of the American roots, because of the popularity it once had. It’s really cool. Very few people understand six-days, it’s kind of a far-off world in cycling. That’s really why I love it,” East continued.
“I love the style of the Madison, on and off every 45 seconds. It’s really dynamic. It requires so much experience. The six-day rider is so smart; he’s one of the smartest cyclists and really knows how to race his bike.”
East looks forward to the elimination and the derny races. He said that the elimination, or miss and out, requires an “extra level of smarts.”
Though he wants to win a six-day race eventually, East identified pairs Luke Roberts/Aaron Gates, Barry Markus/Leif Lampater and Pim Ligthart/Marcel Kalz as favourites for Amsterdam.
Check out some of the action in the video below.