The Six Days have changed so much; ‘back in the day’ the specialists would joust with the big road names in up to 17 venues from Copenhagen via Bordeaux and Grenoble to Milan.
Nowadays there are very few of the specialist due to a much reduced Six Day calendar and the road men need astronomic sums to tempt them onto the boards – and that’s if their DS’s give them permission.
Those Six Day boards are a dangerous place and with the season closing in late October (Cav was road racing in Abu Dhabi in early December!) then kicking off again January there’s little time to recover from a crash.
Therefore it’s very unusual to see a man who can finish top four in the Road Worlds in action on a Six Day track.
Step forward, GB rider Ollie Woods; granted it was the U23 Worlds where he was fourth but the race was won by a World Tour rider, AG2R’s Benoit Cosnefroy and of the surviving Six Days, Gent is the toughest and stays most faithful to ‘old school’ Six format, unlike London with its ‘Revolution’ type ‘Six Day lite’ programme.
As he did last year, Wood rode Gent with Scotland’s European U23 Omnium and Individual Pursuit Champion, Mark Stewart.