ASSOS and Track Cycling: the Legacy Continues

Six Day events are unlike anything else in cycling.

The agenda is set for full-gas attacking, where every second is championed. And for such an endeavor, you need shorts that work.

At the recent Six Day London, we had three riders tearing up the boards. A historic discipline within our sport, Six Days is an annual demonstration of how two-wheeled athleticism and entertainment unite, with bright lights, big crowds, and a lavish menu of racing.

In one of our proudest collabs to date when it comes to highly specific custom apparel, we kitted cycling icon Mark Cavendish with the ultimate shorts to meet the needs of his upcoming race campaign. It’s a melange of our fastest chronosuit and the acclaimed S9 short platform, but tuned for the particular challenges of the Six Day Series. Mark joined us for a fitting at the ASSOS Boutique Lugano to integrate his expertise—from the placement of the insert to the higher waist, removing the bibs, and increasing the compression of the fabric.

With Mark racing for six nights straight against the hugely entertaining U.S. National Team duo Daniel Holloway and Adrian Hegyvary, who both race year-round in ASSOS kit for the Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team, we thought it was wise to send Manual for Speed for a week spent trackside.

Alongside track wisdom from Mark Cavendish, here’s what MFS caught through the lens:

The more laps, the better

In Ghent you’ll always do around 1,000 laps, but in London you’ll only do around 50km.
There’s a totally different vibe at these events; they’re both about the spectacle, but London feels a lot more VIP while Ghent is all for the people.

I like a chase

The Madison is definitely my favourite event; I like a chase—a full-gas one-hour race. It’s where you truly see who is fit.

They give you goosebumps

It’s true. You’re riding so hard that sometimes you’re oblivious to the sound but each time you pass a lap, there’s such a rush of cheering. The World Championships in London were magic; it really gave me goosebumps.

You can’t fix a race at 50km/h

The all-out racing is what people come to see. Out on the track you look out for each other in the first few days, but then it gets really serious. You want to win, of course you do.

It’s like being jet-lagged

You race until so late into the evening each night that your body readjusts itself and you sleep late the next day. You run on caffeine and endorphins for the entirety of the six days.

Proper hand slings need shorts

You can’t race track in a skinsuit. Brad wanted to race Ghent like that but I said “no way.” You ride with a really long jersey tucked into shorts, which have a higher waist to keep in the jersey. Probably not very aero. But the shorts are so comfy it’s like I’m not wearing anything.

For more on the history of our shorts and track cycling, visit us here.

Photos: Manual for Speed