“Records are made to be broken, but few can be more difficult to beat than the record of Sixday victories. That is an achievement requiring years of consistent success at the top of a very tough profession.
Canada's Torchy Peden amassed the first recognised record with a total of 38 wins between 1931 and 1942. That record stood until 1965 when Belgium's Rik van Steenbergen took the score to 40. That total lasted until the 1968 SKOL 6 when our present Race Director, Dutchman Peter Post, beat the record. From then until his retirement in 1971, Peter pushed the record to 65. Now, eight years later Patrick Sercu is poised to take the title of 'King of the Sixes'.
As much as we would like to see Patrick equal the record, it must be a battle worthy of the occasion. Clark-Allan, Pijnen-Karstens, Peffgen-Hempel and Frank-Savary will see to that.
But there are eleven teams in the race and they are all matched at various levels to provide an action packed week.
Barry Hoban rides in the SKOL 6 as a farewell appearance in the UK. For years Britain's leading cycling exile, Barry has successfully battled the continental aces on their own ground, just his total of Tour de France stage wins is indicative of his standing in European cycling.
We have another two exiles in the field, Maurice Burton and Paul Medhurst, both based in Ghent and busy convincing continental promoters that they are worth a chance. Home riders Ian Banbury and Ian Hallam join in, both partnered by experienced internationals to guide them through the SKOL 6.
Monday night sees 1979 World Road Champion Jan Raas of Holland and Giro d'Italia winner Giuseppe Saronni, matched in a four event challenge. The racing should prove every bit as exciting as the Merckx-Thurau challenge of two years ago.
The 1979 SKOL 6 enters the record books in its own right — it is the 1,000th sixday event promoted in the world since sixday racing began in the 1880's.
There certainly is a lot happening in the SKOL 6. Something, I hope, for all. Enjoy it, have a safe journey home and do tell everyone about it!” Ron Webb, SKOL 6 Promoter