Six-day cycling is a track cycling event that competes over six days. Six-day races started in Britain, spread to many regions of the world, were brought to their modern style in the United States and are now mainly a European event. Initially, individuals competed alone, the winner being the individual who completed the most laps. However, nowadays the format was changed to allow teams (usually of two riders each), one rider racing while the other rested. Most six-day races involve six nights of racing, typically from 6pm to 2am, on indoor tracks(velodromes).
The overall winner is the team which completes most laps. In the event of teams completing the same number of laps, the winner is the team with most points won in intermediate competitions. As well as the 'chase' to gain laps over competitors, a typical six-day programme will include time trials, motor-paced, intermediate sprint and elimination races. In the main 'chase' or madison events (so-called after Madison Square Garden in New York City where the two-man format was devised), both riders may be on the track at the same time, taking it in turns to race, hand-slinging each other back into action.
The first six-day event was an individual time trial at the Agricultural Hall in Islington, London in 1878. Later it was reborn as a six-day race at Madison Square Garden II in December 1908, when the first Six Days of New York were held in New York's Madison Square Garden. Founded in 2013, Madison Sports Group, a promoter of cycling events, decided in 2015 to reinvigorate the competition through the introduction of new Six day cycling events in six major cities across the globe, which nowadays together form the Six Day Series. The series starts in London travelling across the world, where it touches down in Berlin, Copenhagen, Melbourne and Manchester, before concluding in Brisbane. Although the Six Day Series is their flagship concept, Madison Sports Group have previously promoted the Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Mallorca Six Day events and are unveiling as Hong Kong the first host in Asia in March 2019.
The Six Day Berlin 2019 cycling event was held at the Berlin Velodrome, with 10 thousand spectators per night. It returned between January 24-29, 2019, for its 108th edition, proving things really do get better with age. The world's best track riders battled across six nights of epic racing in Berlin Velodrome. Starting in 1909, the Berlin Six Day Race is the oldest six-day race in the world. As a volunteer, we could choose a functional area, and based on our preferences and experience, every volunteer was assigned to his or her preferable working areas such as a media center, VIP and protocol, catering, ticketing, spectators services, working and assisting the athletes, ticketing etc. Except the volunteers from Berlin, there were volunteers from different German cities and even countries, of different age and experience, which was making our volunteering team more unique and diverse.
I was lucky and had a chance to work at different functional areas. It was a good chance to get a bigger insight how this event was organized. I worked with VIP guests together with the protocol team; was helping in the media center; and the most exciting was working and assisting athletes at the sport place where they were training and competing. All athletes were super professional and pretty fast, spectators and fans were supportive and energetic,and the whole atmosphere was exciting. I am very glad that I was the part of this Six Day Berlin positive, motivated and committed volunteers team.
This was a fun, exciting and fast event. I experienced a high-class cycling event from behind the scenes, made new friends and gained valuable experience! If you love sport, ready to new experience, then this great event is a good place for you to be in the next year.