by Steve Penny
British 6-Day Correspondent
01 February 2012
The Berliner Sechstage Rennen reaches its climax tonight and despite some doom and gloom the event has been heralded a success by the organisation. The rumour circulating is that there is talk of making this a four-day event like Zurich and Grenoble. As a traditionalist that would be a catastrophe as this is after all the 101st edition!!! What would the four-day event be the 1st Berlin 4-day? Next year it is definitely going to be a ‘Six’ and lets hope that common sense, and sentiment, prevails and ‘Six-day’ racing continues in this great city.
On the track the standings are close and four teams are in with a shout at taking the overall honours. In the prime seats before a peddle had turned in anger were Iljo Keisse – Kenny de Ketele and Roger Kluge – Leif Lampater. Not too far behind and well within reach are World Madison Champions Meyer - Howard and the surprise package Franco Marvulli – Silvan Dillier. Just behind, but probably out of the running, are Berlins Kalz – Bengsch, their chances probably got lost during a heavy fall for Kalz on Sunday afternoon.
1. Keisse - de Ketele 213 points 2. Lampater - Kluge 204 at 1 lap: 3. Bengsch - Kalz 203 4. Marvulli –Dillier 195 5. Howard – Meyer 191 at 10 laps: 6. Barth - Mohs 77 at 11 laps: 7. Bommel – Mertens 103 8. Graf - Müller 45 at 13 laps: 9. Matzka - Reinhardt 98 at 14 laps: 10. Ratajczyk – Aeschbach 107 at 16 laps: 11. Blaha – Stam 57 at 19 laps: 12. Masotti - Ciccone 53 at 20 laps 13. Schroder - Thömel 48 14. Huff – Simes 33 at 28 laps: 15. Kaikow – Krasnow 17
Following on from the doom and gloom talk, the crowds flocked into the ‘Velodrome’ in the thousands tonight. Every seat was taken and standing room saw the crowds four or five deep in places.
Starting the racing was the traditional ‘sprints’, Howard-Meyer added to their points tally taking them close to that all important bonus lap.
Next up was a Team Elimination race and a chance too win 20 critical points. The main teams took up the mantle although Lampater-Kluge missed out. The winners were Bengsch-Kalz from Marvulli-Dillier. The Swiss team, and the 3rd placed Howard-Meyer took enough points to get a bonus lap and pull level with the overnight leaders. For Bengsch-Kalz the lap lost on Monday night cost them a realistic shot at the podium.
The last Derny race of the Six was won by the home favourites Lampater-Kluge from Keisse-De Ketele.
The last race before the big final was a Points Race that saw the hard work of Ratajczyk – Aeschbach pay off to take a morale boosting victory. The underrated Aeschbach will move onto Copenhagen tomorrow to take his place on the start list there.
The big Finale, a 60 minute chase, started with 4 teams close together and in contention for the win. Leaders before the final chase:
After losing a lap yesterday Bengsch - Kalz decided their tactic was to try and gain back that lap from the off, which they did. But for the next 35-40 minutes the other leaders traded laps and headed towards the final 50 laps, and the bonus sprints, with Keisse - De Ketele, Marvulli – Dillier and Lampater – Kluge a lap clear. A few minutes before those sprints Howard and Meyer, who had looked like they were out of the hunt at that point, went away taking the first bonus sprint and after a hard fight got back that lap.
The Aussies sat in for the next sprint as Lampater – Kluge tried their best to get away themselves but it wasn’t to be for the ‘home team’. With 2 sprints it was nip and tuck but the World Champions took that one and took off again with 2 laps to go, easily holding off Marvulli – Dillier and Keisse – De Ketele to take their maiden Six-day victory, the first for an Australian here since Danny Clark (with Tony Doyle) in 1988.
1. Keisse - De Ketele 236 points 2. Marvulli - Dillier 226 3. Howard - Meyer 223 4. Lampater - Kluge 221 at 1 lap: 5. Bengsch - Kalz 230
Marcel Kalz (5th with Robert Bengsch) - `I had a crash on Sunday, causing a pain in my tailbone, which was really bad yesterday resulting in us loosing an important lap. Tonight we decided the tactic was to get a lap early which we did but it was not enough`.
1. Howard – Meyer 263 points 2. Marvulli –Dillier 254 3. Keisse - de Ketele 254 4. Lampater - Kluge 239 at 1 lap: 5. Bengsch - Kalz 234 at 11 laps: 6. Barth - Mohs 77 at 12 laps: 7. Bommel – Mertens 116 at 13 laps: 8. Graf - Müller 49 at 14 laps: 9. Matzka - Reinhardt 111 at 16 laps: 10. Ratajczyk – Aeschbach 132 at 17 laps: 11. Blaha – Stam 57 at 21 laps: 12. Masotti - Ciccone 55 at 22 laps: 13. Schroder - Thömel 56 at 23 laps: 14. Huff – Simes 43 at 32 laps: 15. Kaikow – Krasnow 19
The sprinters battle during the week resulted in a tight match between two of the riders. Robert Forstemann and Maximilian Levi traded the honours for first place throughtout the six days event. Forstemann eventually grabing the lead by one single point over his nearest competitor Maximilian Levi.
1. Robert Forstemenn 88 points 2. Maximilion Levi 87 3. Rene Enders 70 4. Stefan Nimke 61 5. Stefan Botticher 49 6. Sebastian Dohrer 35