by Steve Penny
British 6-Day Correspondent
02 February 2011
With the winter temperature dropping day by day in the city of Berlin at the 100th Sechstage Rennen the temperature is heading in the opposite direction. The heat was really turned up last night and the temperature kept rising during the final nights racing in the Landsberger Allee velodrome.
With points gained during the opening Sprints race counting towards the overall classification the top teams got involved and they all improved their totals. The Dane Rasmussen looked especially strong at that point in time.
The team Elimination was the second opportunity of the evening for Rasmussen to look like he was the quickest man on this 250 metre track, taking an important 20 points for his team ahead of Kluge.
The Derny Final was another crowd pleaser, these races are not usually important to the standings although the leading teams picked up a point or two. The win went too Danny Stam and Peter Schep.
The last 1,000 metre Time Trial saw a magnificent performance from Marcel Kalz and Robert Bengsch who posted a time of 56:08.
The last race before the big showdown was a Points race won by Barth and Mohs.
The final Madison looked for a long time like we would see a re-run of last years battle between Bartko / Kluge and Rasmussen / Morkov. Despite a couple of digs from Danny Stam and Peter Schep the top 5 teams went into the final 50 lap’s level and the race looked like it would go down to the bonus sprints. After taking 2nd to Rasmussen in the evenings earlier races Kluge beat the Dane to both of the first two bonus sprints and looked to have set up his team for the victory.
It wasn’t so clear cut though, with 27 laps of the 250 metre track remaining, Leigh Howard went off the front and he and Cameron Meyer took out half a lap very quickly. The response eventually came from Kluge / Bartko who got away from the rest of the field and this year Rasmussen / Morkov could not respond, relegating them to 3rd place. With about 20 laps to go the World Champions took their lap and held the lead, but roared on by the crowd, Bartko / Kluge metre by metre closed on the back of the field with the Australians now driving at the front of the bunch. It was at this point last year that Bartko / Kluge started to fade and eventually lost the race by one lap. A year on though they looked stronger and with the crowd on its feet they kept coming to finally make the junction with around 7 laps to go, thus securing their ‘home win’.
It was by no means handed to them on a plate and the impressive Howard and Meyer made sure that they had to work hard all the way, just the way it should be.
Cameron Meyer (2nd) – “We made a good move and got a good gap so we thought we had a chance as it took Kluge and Bartko a while to chase, but once they did we had to get to front and chase. In the end they were too strong and had too many points, Robert and Roger were the strongest guys in this race and they thoroughly deserved their win. We’re not disappointed though as we are new to the Six Days and I think in the future we’re going to be hungry to come back to Berlin and win and I think there is more to come from us in the Sixes as I enjoyed the experience and the atmosphere here was fantastic.”
Alex Rasmussen (3rd) – We went all out to try and win the sprints, we didn’t get them and had no energy left to chase at the end and they (Bartko / Kluge) were just going too fast. We certainly were not saving ourselves for Copenhagen as we went all out for those early sprints but it didn’t work. It shows having a great crowd behind you somehow gives you that extra bit of energy!!!”
Michael Morkov (3rd) – “Last year we had to go for the lap to win. This time our tactic was to wait and chase the points in the sprints, but they were better than us (in the sprints) and better at getting the laps!!!”
Leigh Howard (2nd) – “It was only my 4th Six Day so I was on a learning curve here, even more so for Cameron as it was his first Six. These are the sort of events where experience plays a big part so for us... we had to rely on our strength rather than Six Day experience. We did get stronger as this Six Day went on though.”
1. Bartko – Kluge 315 points 2. Howard – Meyer 208 at 1 lap: 3. Rasmussen – Mörköv 278 4. Hondo – Marvulli 205 5. Stam - Schep 139 at 3 laps 6. Lampater – Grasmann 135 7. De Ketele – Mertens 106 at 4 laps: 8. Bengsch - Kalz 119 at 9 laps 9. Blaha – Hochmann 54 at 10 laps: 10. Barth – Mohs 190 11. Thomel – Muller 115 at 13 laps: 12. Hester – Madsen 96 at 15 laps: 13. Kadlec – Bommel 54 at 16 laps: 14. Imhoff – Dillier 76 at 18 laps: 15. Matzka – Reinhardt 90 at 21 laps: 16. Markow – Kowaljow 31 at 22 laps: 17. Edmuller – Faltin 26 at 23 laps: 18. Dostal – Hacecky 28
The leading Sprinter of the week was Robert Forstemann who took the Berlin trophy ahead of Maximilian Levy. Both are part of the 2010 World Team Sprint Championship winning team and they’ll now be focusing on retaining that title, as well as the sprint and keirin, in Apeldoorn, Holland in two months time.
The winner of the Steher prize was Timo Scholz from Leipzig. This event entertains the crowd but this style of racing needs a much bigger track and so these races are really exhibitions, albeit run off at speeds of 60kph.