Sundays at German Sixes are and have always been ‘family day’, Familientag, when the programme of sport and entertainment is held during the afternoon rather than in the evening or night.
On a cold wind-chilled winter afternoon, local families came along to the Landsberger Allee Velodrome to enjoy the racing and pass on the tradition from one generation to the next.
The race programme kicked off with a series of Sprints won by Kalz – Bengsch who are looking like the real deal this time around and should continue to challenge for a podium place.
The riders went straight into a Derny race, which in traditional ‘crowd pleasing’ style, was a nip and tuck battle to the line between Cameron Meyer and Iljo Keisse, with the Australian holding off the Belgian for the win and to take the bouquet and applause.
The big 45 minute Madison of the afternoon session began early at 13:20 and found the top five teams in no mood for a relaxing Sunday ride.
The World Champions Howard — Meyer showed strongly throughout and along with the team of Marvulli — Dillier, finished a lap clear of the other favourites. The Swiss team took the win and went to the top of the standings, with Franco Marvulli looking like he is enjoying it again with his fast, youthful countryman.
Team number one Lampater – Kluge tried on more than one occasion to go clear but were chased down by the Australians, Swiss and a strong-looking Keisse — de Ketele.
After a rest during some family entertainment, the riders a little lower on the standings got a chance to shine when Ratajczyk — Aeschbach took the Team Elimination from the merged team of Danny Stam and Martin Blaha.
After the excitement of the earlier chase, the 30 minute Madison proved to be something of a stalemate between the top teams, as this one went to Berliner Andreas Müller and Andreas Graf (Austria) in a close sprint from Matzka – Reinhardt.
Closing the afternoon programme was a Derny race for the bottom half of the standings, and the winner was Alex Aeschbach. The Swiss veteran has had a rough time this last year coming back from two heavy crashes in the summer.
He’s not been given contracts for some of the Sixes this season and those he has ridden he has had, with all due respect, lesser quality partners or partners who are not particularly motivated.
The standings after four days are tight at the top and five teams are still in contention to win the 101st Berlin Six on Tuesday night.
The obvious favourites on paper would be Howard – Meyer who seem strong but will that lack of Six Day experience work against them before the end?
The ‘home team of Lampater — Kluge seem strong and together with Keisse — de Ketele appear the most likely to push the Australians all the way.
The dark horses are Marvulli — Dillier but they still appear strong and primed to spring a surprise.
After a fall today the condition of Marcel Kalz is unclear and how well he and Robert Bengsch will finish the race in the heat of a finale chase is still a mystery.
Have a look at Steve’s site, 6dayracing.ca