Six Day London: Speedy Shaw talent eyes national madison crown after junior success

Oldham cycling sensation Matthew Walls insists his success at the inaugural Six Day London race could spur him on to national madison championship glory before the end of the year.

The 17-year-old, who lives in Shaw, claimed an emphatic victory in the Junior Talent Cup at the first Six Day event in England in 35 years.

Alongside Velocity Globalbike partner Matthew Draper, the pair won all three 20km madison races over three nights to top the standings overall on Thursday at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London, finishing 12 points clear of second-placed Ethan Hayter and Fred Wright.

And with some of the greatest track cyclists in the world competing in the senior Six Day competition, Walls believes he picked up more than just a trophy in London.

“I’ve ridden the revolution series here in London before, but there’s a lot of top riders here we can talk to who are riding in the main event which has been a great opportunity,” said the Crompton House School student.

“They are sound guys. You can learn so much by watching them, like bike handling which is so important in the madison, and the pros have been giving me some good tips.

“I love the atmosphere of Six Day races now, and I love the type of riding. Hopefully I can get a few more in down the line.

“It’s a really fantastic feeling to win here. The vibe all week has been great with a brilliant crowd behind us, and there’s been a lot of talented competitors here too so it’s been good racing.

“We knew we were coming here to compete for the top spot on the podium, and we put everything we had into doing that over the three days.

“So it was great to come out with the victory, especially considering this is the biggest event I’ve done so far.”

With the road season over, Walls – also earned himself a national jersey over the summer when he became junior british points race champion in Manchester – switches his attention to a long winter of track action.

And with December’s national madison championships just around the corner, Walls is hoping his Six Day partner Draper will not be a thorn in his side.

“I’m getting in my winter miles now for the road season next year, and I’ve got the junior madison championships in December so I need to prepare for that.

“I’m not actually riding with Matt there so we could well be battling it out for a medal. He’s a good rider so I’ll just hope for the best for both of us.

“We’ll still be friends afterwards of course, but it definitely makes our competitive side come out even more as you want to beat your mate.”

Six Day London took place at Lee Valley VeloPark –  Packed crowds came and watched the world’s best track cyclists in action and to be part of an electric party atmosphere at London’s Olympic Velodrome.

Image courtesy of Crompton House PE via Twitter, with thanks.

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