Montreal Pre World War II Six-Day Races
During the 1930's the Six-day races at the Montreal Forum were a well-attended sports spectacle. In the middle of the decade there were races were held both in the fall and the spring of each year. Montreal quickly became the centre of six-day racing in Canada and the breeding ground for the development of Canadian six-day racers. Jules Audy, Henri LePage, etc. all had there start in Montreal.
But towards the end of the decade the publics’ fascination with this unique sporting event started to wane. During this time period the price of an automobile became more affordable to the general public and the development of highways and roads increased so automobile travel became more common. Both these factors influenced the six-day races, but the single world event that curtailed the sixes was World War II. The three six-day bicycle races of 1940, 1941 and 1942 at the Montreal Forum were the closing of an important era in six-day racing history. While the sixes returned to Montreal in the late 1940s and continued on into the 1980s, the hay day of six-day racing was over.
The six-day races of the early 1940's had the growing war in Europe as a backdrop. Several of the six-day racers were enlisted in the Canadian or the American Armed Forces and had a special leave in order to participate in the six-day race. In the 1940 Montreal six-day, the promoter made a special trip to Upstate New York in order to get the American six-day racers to register for the American draft. The 1942 six-day had one up and coming six-day racer, Andy McConnell missing, as he had been killed in the line of duty for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
The following information was gleaned from the newspaper reports of the Montreal Gazette and Montreal Star of that time period. The information includes the start list, and daily reports on the standings of the six-day racing teams.