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98th Edition of the Berliner Sechstagerennen - Day 1

by Steve Penny
British 6-Day Correspondent
22 January 2009

The first night of the 98th Berlin Six Day race saw 12,500 patrons celebrate the 100th anniversary of this historic event.

On the track opening exchanges threw up a few surprises which is fairly standard at a Six Day race. It is not normally until the 3rd night that the leaders really start to make there move. Nevertheless it will be good news for the organisation with last minute German / Belgian pairing Roger Kluge and Kenny De Ketele at the top of the standings. On the same lap in 2nd place are Lademann / Aeschbach and the German / Swiss combination have indeed started were they left off last year when they finished a surprising 3rd overall.

Courtesy of Berliner Sechstagerennen website

The opening 45 minute Madison saw a surprise when German Madison champions took the first big prize of the Six Day from the young Kluge / De Ketele team with Lademann / Aeschbach in 3rd. The main favourites were all one lap behind this trio, with some teams losing three, four and five laps. The 2nd shorter 30 minute Madison went to the Danish boys Morkov and Rasmussen. There were no lap gains on the other major players, so the 1st night ended with an interesting look to the leader board and all those racing, heading into the weekend.

Standings after Day 1:

1 Kluge / De Ketele		37 Points 
2 Lademann / Aeschbach	29

At 1 lap: 
3 Zabel / Bartko		54 
4 Risi / Marvulli		53 
5 Bengsch / Kalz		43 
6 Rasmussen / Mörköv		33 
7 Stam / Schep		24 
8 Roberts / Lampater		  5

At 2 laps: 
9 Ciccone / Mohs		  5

At 3 laps: 
10 Hester / Madsen		23 
11 Müller / Siedler		12 
12 Bommel / Schaar		  8 
13 König / Barth		  0

At 4 laps: 
14 Musiol / Frey		15 
15 Grasmann / Thömel		  9 
16 Kadlec / Zabka		  1 
17 Ratajczyk / Lazar		  0

At 5 laps: 
18 Graf / Matzka		  4 

As well as such a close start to the race there was more good news for the organisation with Bruno Risi and Franco Marvulli seeming to have resolved their differences. Risi was quoted by a Swiss news agency as saying:

"We have met and discussed our problems. For me, this is snow from yesterday, a forgotten issue. I am pleased with the reunion and in any case as last year's winners we want to defend the title." (First Edition Cycling News, January 23, 2009)

As reported, Erik Zabel starts in Berlin for the first time in his last ever race and said:

"I was born just two kilometers from the velodrome at the Lichtenberg clinic and this area is where I started my career in cycling" (First Edition Cycling News, January 23, 2009)

According to German news his son Rick will join him on the track on Tuesday, who is himself competing in the junior event over the weekend.

Twice Olympic gold medalist and Six Day strongman Robert Bartko appears to be relishing the task of racing with Zabel in his last race saying:

""It is an honour to be with Erik for his last race, but also an enormous responsibility as I want to give him a final victory" (First Edition Cycling News, January 23, 2009)

Let the battle commence!!!