It was lucky 13 for Roger Kluge & Theo Reinhardt; that was the number of laps remaining in the final chase in the Berlin Six Day 2019 on Tuesday night when big Lotto Home Boy, Kluge launched the attack which produced the winning lap gain to take the Deutsche Duo clear of ‘Double Danskas’ Jesper Mørkøv & Marc Hester with their superior scandic points tally.
The crowd were in raptures; down among the camp followers there were more than a few yawns.
A more cynical man than me might suggest that it was helpful when the peloton parked up as soon as Big Rodge bolted – but I’d never imply such a thing.
That said, Kluge was the strongest man on the boards albeit he’s a World Tour Giro stage winner riding against a field where some of the opposition aren’t even at Continental team level.
Austrian ‘Andreas x 2’, Müller and Graf took the final spot on the podium.
My last Six Day was Bremen with its 160 metre wall of death plywood bowl squeezed into a far from huge exhibition hall.
I parachuted into Berlin for the final night to help Kris break camp and then take the long trek north on the concrete section to Rostock, the Baltic ferry to Denmark, then run north across frozen, flat fields and the Copenhagen Six Day.
When I emerged from the tunnel at the Berlin Velodrome, even though I’ve been there many times, I was struck by the sheer scale of the place.
The largest unsupported steel roof in Europe hovers over a 250 metre track with towering, golden Siberian pine bankings designed to handle huge stayer racing speeds.
There’s seating by the acre, artificial light to drive a green energy fanatic to drink and a sound system blasting out everything from Kiss to the Black Eyed Peas.
And good to see that in this politically correct world there are no scantily clad podium girls…
Our charges are Aussies Joshua Harrison and Stephen Hall.
Josh was World Junior Team Pursuit Champion in 2013 and is reigning Oceania Points, Scratch and Omnium Champion whilst Stephen has won races as diverse as the US Sprint GP at Trexlertown Velodrome, via a stage in the Tour of Thailand to the 2017 Australian Team Pursuit Championships and the GP Mengoni in New York City.