by Steve Penny
British 6-Day Correspondent
29 January 2013
A crowd of around 12,000 filed into the Landsberger Allee Velodrome tonight. The large numbers continued a trend for the six days - with an estimated 70,000 coming through the doors - attendance figures are up rather than down, a good sign going forward.
On the track following Mondays racing, the standings were tighter than they looked on Sunday afternoon, with Kalz / Bengsch, Kluge / Schep and Muller / Marvulli all gaining a lap on the weekend leaders De Ketele / Roberts.
With points gained during the opening Sprints race counting towards the overall classification, the top teams got involved and improved their totals.
The team Elimination was the main opportunity of the evening for the top teams to gain 20 valuable points and it was Muller / Marvulli who gained maximum points ahead of De Ketele / Roberts. The win left the Swiss / German combination poised to gain a bonus lap and Kluge / Schep also close at this stage of the evening.
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 in this one went too Roger Kluge and Peter Schep, who did want the points on the way to a bonus lap.
The last 1,000 metre Time Trial saw another good performance from Marcel Kalz and Robert Bengsch who posted a time of 55.863.
The last race before the big final chase was a Points race won by Marcel Barth and Erik Mohs.
The final chase went back and forth with the end results in doubt until just a few laps from the finish. The 'Berlin team' of Marcel Kalz and Robert Bengsch started the finale a lap in arrears but did their utmost to overturn the deficit. Time and time again they went on the attack and did actually hold the lead for a while, but going into the final 50 laps, and the bonus sprints, they'd run out of gas and ultimately had to settle for 4th place. The race for the Berlin Six was between De Ketele / Roberts and Kluge / Schep although Marvulli / Muller where on the same lap they weren't able to challenge in the sprints. With 8 laps and just the final sprint left, Peter Schep pulled clear and he and Roger Kluge held a 100 metre gap all the way to the finish despite the best efforts of De Ketele and Luke Roberts. The Belgian / Australian team had looked the strongest over the weekend, but Kluge appeared to get stronger as the Six progressed and he came into form just at the right time to make up for a disappointing result last year.
In 3rd place, Andreas Muller will be pleased to get his first ever podium placing, with his partner Marvulli, confirming he has re-found his appetite for the Sixes, amidst talk of an early retirement. For Kenny De Ketele, 2nd place in consecutive years must have been disappointing. He seemed to be the strong man of his team, but couldn't match the combined endurance and strength of Schep and Kluge.
Karl Franke Photo
1. Kluge (Ger) - Schep (Ned) 261 points 2. De Ketele (Bel) - Roberts (Aus) 258 3. Marvulli (Swi) - Müller (Ger) 233 at 1 lap 4. Bengsch (Ger) - Kalz (Ger) 255 5. Bartko - Reinhardt (Ger) 174 at 4 laps: 6. Grassmann (Ger) - Thömel (Ger) 106 at 5 laps: 7. Kneisky (Fra) - Brisse (Fra) 107 at 7 laps: 8. Barth (Ger) - Mohs (Ger) 138 at 8 laps: 9. Lampater (Ger) - Lib (Ger) 101 10. Stroetinga (Ned) - Stopler (Ned) 58 at 15 laps: 11. Bommel (Ger) - Thiele (Ger) 51 12. Mertens (Bel) - Pirius (Ger) 82 at 17 laps: 13. Masotti (Ita) - Ciccone (Ita) 66 at 18 laps: 14. Morkov (Den) - Wotschke (Ger) 45 15. Krasnow (Rus) - Ershov (Rus) 42 at 22 laps: 16. East (USA) - Schroder (Ger) 51
The leading Sprinter of the week was Maximilian Levy, who took the Berlin trophy ahead of Robert Forstemann. Both were part of the London 2012 bronze medal trio in the Team Sprint, they'll now be focusing on regaining the World Championships in Minsk (Belarus) next month.
Tying up the Steher prize was Berliner, Florian Fernow. This event always entertains the public, but this style of racing needs a much larger track so these races are really only exhibitions, albeit run off at speeds of over 70kmph.
The Ladies-Cup was a two horse race with Stephanie Pohl beating Charlotte Becker by just 1 point over the 4 day Omnium style competition. Special mention goes out to 20 year old Brit Hannah Walker, who came out here alone and raced hard during the competition, with no official back up or support. Despite being the lonely long distance cyclist, she enjoyed the experience prior to heading off to Tenerife for road training.