Six Day Races

A six-day race, sometimes simply called a six, is a track style biking race. The duration of the race is six days, hence the name. These types of races began in Great Britain. Since then, the racing style has spread to other areas of the planet. The United States hosts various six-day races with a modern twist o­n the original British event. However, the style is now primarily practiced in Europe. The current style of racing involves teams of two riders. This is set up so that o­ne rider may rest while the other rests. The races generally go from 6pm to 2am, and are usually housed inside of an indoor track. However, the old-style format went for a literal 6 days straight, and did not allow for teams. Current rules have become much more relaxed.

The winner of the race is the team that has successfully completed the most laps. However, in the event of a tie, the winner is the team that has received the most number of points. An average six-day race will consist of the main chase event, elimination races, intermediate sprint, motor-paced, and time trials.

The first six-day race was in the style of an individual time trial. The race was held in London in 1878. The idea began when David Stanton wanted to place a bet that 1,000 miles could be ridden in six days, with an 18-hour ride time. This bet left o­nly 5 hours for sleep in between trials. Stanton won the bet in a mere 73 hours. His average speed was 13 miles per hour.

Soon, the event became popular in Europe. Not long after, the event gained the attention of the United States. Currently, over 100 six-day races have taken place in the US, and over 120 have taken place in Europe.