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Berlin Six Day 2011 Finalè

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The stadium in Berlin is spectacular, with a 142 metres span it boasts the largest steel roof in Europe; the crowd has to be seen to be believed, on the last night there were certainly more fans than there were seats; the noise is deafening — and for a fan it’s just like you dreamed of.

Berlin Six Day 2011
The final podium of the Berlin Six Day 2011.
Berlin Six Day 2011
What we’re here for.

But if you were on the inside it wasn’t a happy race; to get the World Champions on board the organisers had to pay big bucks.

I can’t quote figures or it would be no more sixes for Ed, but it was serious money, ‘that’s fair enough’ I hear you say.

But it’s not.

Last season Bruno Risi didn’t ride Berlin because the organisers set a cap on what they could — or rather, would pay — and that was less than Bruno valued himself at.

The Aussies were each paid twice what the ‘capped’ figure was, and that didn’t go down well with the riders.

Berlin Six Day 2011
Cameron was well paid for his six nights work.

The usual banter wasn’t there; it was all very ‘flat.’

Berlin Six Day 2011
Alex reads…
Berlin Six Day 2011
…while Jens-Erik takes a nap.

That said, it was a great experience to be there — I worked at Berlin a few years ago but somehow I don’t remember too much about it.

It was easier to get me to Berlin than it was to get me to Copenhagen and it meant I was there to help for the finalè.

The track is largely below ground and from the outside looks like a storage shed but when you walk in and see that roof and the big track — 250 metres — sitting there under the lights, it’s pretty special.

Berlin Six Day 2011
That’s the track roof on the right.