Wednesday, October 27, 2021
HomeDiariesBerlin Six Day 2013 - Golden Night

Berlin Six Day 2013 – Golden Night


Any talk of decline appears to have been, thankfully, premature as 25,000 people had visited the 102nd Berlin Six Day over the first two days. Tonight was ‘Golden Night’ and another massive crowd of around 13,000 trudged through the ice and snow in temperatures of around -13 to cheer and, in Berlin’s inimitable style, whistle the riders around the 250 metre track.

Berlin Six Day
Fans favourite Robert Bartko leads the chase. Photo©John Young

In what has become the way, here after a leg stretching set of sprints the riders went straight into a 30 minute Madison.

The leading teams traded laps until the end when Roger Kluge took the win with his Dutch partner Peter Schep.

Gaining laps on the 250 metre track is not always easy so efforts have to be measured. Riders will do around 600 metres (over two laps) between changes unlike on the shorter tracks that are more suited to Six Day racing when laps are won and lost relatively frequently.

Berlin Six Day
Roger Kluge and Peter Schep exchange during the Madison. Photo©John Young

In the lead at this stage were Andreas Müller and Franco Marvulli. Being from Berlin Müller has as always extra motivation to perform. He actually went to school just a few hundred metres from the building with his family apartment is just 500 metres away, so he really is a local boy.

After finishing 4th in Bremen Andreas’ morale is high and has good condition honed during several weeks training in Australia and Mallorca recently.

This is the first time on home soil that he has had such a strong partner and is in with a great chance of making it onto his first ever Six Day podium.

It’s something he deserves after consistent performances at major championships and earning his stripes showing younger guys the Six Day ropes.

Berlin Six Day
Muller exchanges with Marvulli. Photo©John Young

There was only one Elimination race (or Devil) for teams and as one would expect with so few races in the programme the top teams didn’t hold back with World Madison Champ Kenny de Ketele and Luke Roberts taking the win and the overall lead.

Berlin Six Day
Luke Roberts slings in his partner Kenny De Ketele. Photo©John Young

The big rendezvous of the night was the 45 minute Madison and the closing laps got the 13,000+ crowd excited when three teams struggled to gain a lap and yo-yoed back and forth before finally taking the lap after a high speed chase.

Looking the strongest at this point in time were Kenny De Ketele and Luke Roberts and they had no such problems nipping away to gain a lap close to the end of the chase holding strong to win the sprint too.

Berlin Six day
At 27 years of age De Ketele looks stronger than ever. Photo©John Young

On the other hand Marvulli / Müller appeared to fade but it was just one chase and there are three days left, anything can still happen.

At 14 laps behind and in last place in the standings are American Guy East and Berlin road rider Bjorn Schröder.

At 25 East told me he is no longer a full time cyclist but lives, studies and works close to San Diego, although of course he continues to ride his bike.

He had the call to race here and in Copenhagen and despite his honest assessment seems to be more at home than his partner road based professional, Schröder.

He told me he didn’t have the enthusiasm to race the road but still loves the Sixes and despite being in last place has good morale. He is enjoying ‘a tough experience’ but noted how fast the chases are.

As the crowd noticeably thinned out the last big event on the programme was the 1,000 Metre Time Trial (TT).

The winners of this were Kalz / Bengsch in a time of 55.491, the result keeping them in contention for a podium place.

Berlin Six Day 2013 - Results

Standings after three days

1. De Ketele (Bel) – Roberts (Aus) 137 points
@ 1 lap
2. Marvulli (Swi) – Müller (Ger) 127
3. Bartko – Reinhardt (Ger) 117
4. Kluge (Ger) – Schep (Ned) 102
@ 2 laps
5. Bengsch (Ger) – Kalz (Ger) 76
@ 3 laps
6. Kneisky (Fra) – Brisse (Fra) 56
@ 5 laps
7. Stroetinga (Ned) – Stopler (Ned) 32
8. Grassmann (Ger) – Thömel (Ger) 31
@ 6 laps
9. Barth (Ger) – Mohs (Ger) 69
10. Lampater (Ger) – Lib (Ger) 65
@ 8 laps
11. Mertens (Bel) – Pirius (Ger) 44
@ 11 laps
12. Bommel (Ger) – Thiele (Ger) 53
@ 12 laps
13. Masotti (Ita) – Ciccone (Ita) 31
14. Krasnow (Rus) – Ershov (Rus) 18
15. Mørkøv (Den) – Wotschke (Ger) 12
@ 14 laps
16. East (USA) – Schröder (Ger) 17

Sprinters, Stehers and the Ladies

The main Six Day programme is much shorter here than at other cities due to the sprint and steher (motor-paced) races. Also we now have a recently introduced Ladies-Cup that reduces the programme further.

Berlin Six Day
Maximillian Levey, Wolfram Champion Sprint winner, and pal. Photo©John Young

The leading Sprinter after three nights is Maximilian Levy.

The 24 year-old from Cottbus leads from fellow German team sprinter, and owner of the largest thighs in cycling, Robert Forstemann.

Berlin Six Day
Forsterman and Levy entertain the crowd with some track skills. Photo©John Young

Leading the Stehers after three nights is Florian Fernow who won the crowd pleasing high speed race tonight.

Berlin Six Day
Steher, Zachary Kovalcik at the start of the Esso Weltpola der Steher race. Photo©John Young

The Ladies Cup is a two-horse race between Stephanie Pohl and Charlotte Becker, Pohl holding a one point lead in an Omnium style competition.

Around the Landsberger Allee Velodrome

Unlike Ghent this is a large venue so spotting ex-riders and local celebrities is not as easy but one guy attracting a lot of attention was ‘Didi the Devil’.

A local he has been a familiar sight at the Tour and other major races for as long as I can remember. He missed the Tour last year due to ill health but was in good form here posing for a seemingly endless stream of photos with Six Day revellers.

Also in attendance was Erik Zabel who finished his career in his city of birth, in his one and only appearance, back in 2009. He was perhaps the last throw back to a bygone era when stars of the road came indoors during the winter to give the public a chance to see them up close and personal. His son Rik was in the junior races he a few years ago and Erik and his family are regular and popular visitors at this, the longest running Six Day race in the world.

The Berlin Six, as all German Sixes are or were, is not just a sporting event; there is the pomp and show as well as numerous bars and offering of culinary delights around the building. Non-meat eaters beware though, being a vegetarian in this place may be akin to being one in Argentina.

The Six Day race itself has now become just a part of all this which is in my opinion a bit of a shame as 10 years ago the riders always said Berlin had a sport loving public, so sport was put first.

The organisation felt they know their public and moved away from this adding more ‘show’.

The long breaks, and low team points totals, in the Six Day programme reflect this. They have brought in the Ladies Cup but with all due respect that has just further reduced the allotted time and the riders have a lot of down time which I’m not sure they like.

Related Articles

Berlin Six Day 2013 – Sunday Report, “Familientag”

Sundays at German Six Day races have always traditionally been ‘Family Day’ (Familientag) with the programme of sport and entertainment held during the afternoon rather than in the evening / night.

Berlin Six Day 2013 – Day Five

There’s no wi-fi in the stadium at Berlin at the Berlin Six Day 2013, you have to go up to the press room; it’s quiet up there, there’s hard wired internet which has your pictures flying in a nanosecond and a fridge full of soft drinks and beer – a runner/journalists Nirvana you might say.

Berlin Six Day 2013 – Day Two

Friday, Schonefeld Airport was cold with snow on the ground – but it was good to arrive in Germany in the sunshine. We're here to work at the erlin Six Day 2013. Sometimes in January there’s a depressing grey half light here, the clouds sit low and the dampness eats into you, but today was beautiful, even though the cold nips at the inside of your nose.

Berlin Six Day 2012 – Day Four

Berlin Six Day 2012 and Jackie summed it up best when I asked if he'd slept well; 'yeah, but just not long enough!' But Dirk had a take on it too; 'why can't we just go straight from Saturday to Monday?' There's always a down beat Johnny Cash kind of vibe to Sunday afternoons sessions; 'the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad, so I had one more for dessert.'

Berlin Six Day 2012 – Day Six

The line of taxi lights stretches back into the darkness like a string of pearls, it's beautiful in an a big city kind of a way - it could be a scene from a Woody Allen film; but it's not Manhattan, it's Berlin at 01:40am. We're here for the Berlin Six Day 2012.

Hannah Walker – Matrix Fitness Racing’s Young Track Star

So there I was in Berlin and it's the ladies’ Six Day - well, three days, actually - and I hear one of the lasses waiting to go to the line speaking in a good Lancashire accent. Check the numbers, #7: Hannah Walker, GB.

At Random

Douglas Dewey – a Road Racer, Deep Down

We last spoke to Douglas Dewey in April on the back of his successful French Spring Campaign with Hennebont Cycling.

Il Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 9; Lugo – Sestola, 174 km. Pieter Weening Winning

Boring this Giro is not - Pieter Weening won ORICA-GreenEDGE's third stage of the race in a two-up sprint against Davide Malacarne (Team Europcar) both having survived from the break of the day. It took an hour of savage racing before a big break of 14 was finally allowed to go - once the correct recipe passed the test of the ‘Bigs’ dipping their finger in the mixing bowl. But there were just two left come the mountain top tactical finish where Weening was too strong for Malacarne – I did enjoy the high altitude track stand...

Scottish 100 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007

A chilly, breezy but rapid Sunday morning on the roads alongside the Cromarty Firth saw Shetland's Carlos Riise reclaim the Scottish 100 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007 title he last won in 2004, with a personal best 3-51-43. This was Carlos's eighth hundred title, the man who ended his run of seven straight wins and who took the title in 2005, Jonathan Copp (Deeside) was not riding, neither was last year's champion and current record holder, Mark Atkinson (Sandy Wallace).

Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2014 – Three in a Row for Ian Grant

On a blustery, squally day on the dual carriageways of the A78 and A71 around Irvine and Kilmarnock on Sunday morning, Dooley's Iain Grant added the Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial title to the "10" with a stunning 50:46 ride; a massive 1:39 clear of surprise second, Peter Murdoch (Paisley Velo) with Murdoch's team mate Chris Smart a further 25 seconds back in the bronze medal position. VeloVeritas had eventual fourth placed Arthur Doyle in the bronze medal spot, late in the race. But cramp hit Doyle in the closing miles and he had to freewheel across the line, two seconds down on Smart.

Jayden Copp – Aussie Winner of the Sint Katelijine Waver Kermis 2014

If you’re not on one of the National Federation programmes there’s only one way to catch the eye and sign that coveted first pro contract. That is, either as an individual or with your team you head for Belgium, France or Italy and fight for results. It’s the time honoured way, good enough for Tom Simpson, Robert Millar and David Millar. A name which caught our eye recently in the Belgian kermises was 23 year-old Aussie, Jayden Copp (Bianchi DCM Arbitrage) with two fourth places, a second then a win. Well worth a word we thought.

Ethan Vernon – Part of the Welsh Team Pursuit Squad “hoping to go sub-four”

There’s a new kid on the Team Pursuit block, 17 year-old winner of three national championships in 2017, author of a 1:02 kilometre and in the Welsh team which twice recorded 4:01 rides in the recent Commonwealth Games, Mr. Ethan Vernon - another man to benefit from riding with Dan Bigham’s KGF track squadra. Here’s what he had to say to us just the other day...