Six Day London came just a little too late for Dame Sarah Storey to cap a remarkable year with a triumphant return to the scene of her London 2012 heroics.
Storey competed in the inaugural Six Day London last year, as Six Day racing returned to the capital for the first time in 35 years.
But peaking for the Paralympic Games in September meant maintaining her form would have been too difficult, and instead she opted for a well-earned rest after picking up her 14th gold medal, in Rio, of a remarkable career.
She could not keep away from the Lee Valley VeloPark velodrome though, and spent two days at Six Day London, soaking up the party atmosphere and fuelling the desire to return in 2017.
“Six Day London was just a bit too far away from the Paralympic peak for me,” said the 39-year-old.
“I was questioning my love for trying to extend the season until the end of October so I decided to finish the season on a high with the 14th gold medal, my third in Rio, and come down here as a spectator.
“Last year’s Six Day London was my first experience of a Six Day and this is my second experience so I’m very loyal to London Six Day.
“I’ve not ever had the opportunity to go and watch any of the European ones, or race in them.
“Most of the European ones centre around the Madison, which is an event I can’t do, because of the hand-slings.
“Obviously it’s really special to be able to come back here and just see the atmosphere and the crowd.
“It reminds me very much of the Games, here in London, and then my Hour Record too, it’s an incredible place.
“It’s fantastic to see that the event already has such a huge following. Everyone looks forward to it being here. So I’ll see how next year pans out and hopefully be back here on the boards again.”
This year’s women’s omnium event saw fellow Brits and Rio gold medallists Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald back in competition, as well as newly-crowned world road race champion Amalie Dideriksen.
In the end it was Archibald who took the title after an impressive three-days of track racing.
And Storey is delighted to see the rapid growth of Six Day London, in what is only it’s second year.
“It was an incredible experience at Six Day London for me, last year,” she added.
“It was my mum’s birthday while we were here and it was quite funny because she was here helping to look after Louisa, my daughter, and I was like ‘mum I’ve brought you to a nightclub for your birthday, and you get to watch a bike race’.
“It’s just the atmosphere – it’s a bit of a party atmosphere and it gives you a sense of fun. There are no medals on the line but it still gives you that real competitive spirit, with different targets.
“Obviously with the atmosphere, the people coming to watch and the loud music it’s completely different to a championship, but it’s great.”
Six Day London took place between 25-30 October 2016 at Lee Valley VeloPark on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Six Day London 2017 tickets go on general sale at 11am on Wednesday, November 2 at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/sixdaylondon