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Track Cycling: Six Days of Munich - Full Preview
By Fabio
Date: 11/6/2003
Track Cycling: Six Days of Munich - Full Preview

No longer than 48 hours after the thrilling final of the Grenoble and Dortmund events, the stars of track cycling move to southern Germany and get back in the saddle for one of the top competitions in the calendar: the Six Days of Munich, now in its 40th edition, and set to run from Thursday, November 06 thru Tuesday, November 11.

Held for the first time in 1933, but with a 16-year gap between the first and second edition, the race is expected to draw huge crowd in its 33rd time at the Olympiahalle velodrome (built in 1972 for the Munich Olympics) of the Bavarian capital, perhaps also due to an unusual firestarter: nobody else but Jan Ullrich!!

Germany’s best-known cyclist was also invited to take part in the race, and the same occurred to Erik Zabel, winner of this same competition two years ago, but both “Ulle” and “Ete”, coming from a long and demanding road season, and set to start their build-up for 2004 soon, preferred to take some time off the bike. Nevertheless, Ullrich found the way not to miss the Munich event, and Zabel left the door open for his eventual comeback in next year’s edition. Besides firing the starting shot tonight, the Tour de France runner-up will be spending about an hour at the Olympiahalle, signing autographs and answering questions from fans.

But his presence is not the only reason to attend the event. There‘s a race too. And fifteen teams ready for the battle. And even world-class ones: the Munich Six field is among the best a fan may expect. All winners of the three competitions held so far in the winter season will be there, ready to start the fight and wishing to topple reigning champions McGrory and Gilmore.

The Aussie-Belgian duo will be doing their best to retain the title they took for the first time, after several attempts, twelve months ago. A result that made Australian-born Gilmore “very proud”, as he managed to accomplish what his father Graeme had already done (as Australian) in 1974, when he won the race paired to legendary local rider Sigi Renz, current sport director of the Bavarian event. And now Matt is given the chance to better his father’s record.

The list of challengers can’t start with anyone else but the “Alpen Express”: Switzerland’s Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart, coming from an emotional win at Dortmund’s “Westfalenhalle”, will be aiming to add a 33th gem to their sensational palmares, and give McGrory and Gilmore something to be unhappy of, just like they did in Dortmund. It would be a sixth time for the “Alpen Express” at the Olympiahalle, and a welcomed return to the top of the podium three years after their last time as Munich Six winners.

Holland’s Robert Slippens and Danny Stam delighted the Dutch crowd taking the win in Amsterdam a couple weeks ago, but in Munich they will be looking for redemption after they missed the Dortmund podium. Franco Marvulli and Alexander Aeschabch, another top-class pair from Switzerland, often overshadowed by the power of Risi and Betschart, had their glory day on Tuesday, as they grabbed victory in Grenoble after a thrilling final, with only one point dividing the top two teams. And they will do their best to be protagonists in Munich too, though pretending the guys to score their third 6-day win of the year (following the triumphs in Moscow and Grenoble) is perhaps a bit too much.

Also because, even in the best case, just of them will get the win this time: they will be competing in two different pairs, teaming up with as many Grenoble podium finishers: Marvulli is set to race alongside fellow Italian-speaker Marco Villa (third place getter in France) and Aeschbach to one of the men that lost to him by one point: South Africa’s Jean Pierre van Zijl. The other runner-up in Grenoble, Robert Sassone of France, is paired to Britain’s Brad Wiggins, this time losing his usual team-mate Robert Hayles, and hoping for a better result than he got in Dortmund.

Besides McGrory, Wiggins and Van Zijl the English-speaking contingent in Munich features an American too: needless to say, I’m talking of Marty Nothstein, taking part in his third Six-Day event of the season, with his third different team-mate: in Amsterdam it was Max Van Heeswijk, in Dortmund it was Matt Gilmore, now it’s Olympic (and past World) Champion Robert Bartko, a 27–year-old from Potsdam, Germany. A road racer with Rabobank, and winner of a Tour of Luxembourg stage in the 2003 season, Bartko hit the podium in Munich in the Y2K edition of the race, when partnered by Erik Zabel. Will Nothstein help him get back into the top three places ?

Other riders to watch out for are Germany’s Kappes and Beikirch, recently crowned European Madison Champions, and also second overall in Dortmund a few days ago, and also podium finishers in the 2002 Munich Six and also, according to their own words, highly motivated and believing in their chances. You’d better not write off Denmark’s Madsen and Sandstød either, at least for a place in the final top three.

Austrians Garber and Stocher, as well as other German pairs in the race, are not among the main favourites, but you certainly may expect them to pull off a surprising performance, the way Germans Müller and Fulst did last year, when they managed an excellent fifth place finish. And sure they’ll be trying to do even better this time.

So let’s get the party started, but not without the super-stars of the Sprint, that will battle it out again in their own contest. Reigning Champion Jens Fielder showed his good condition in Grenoble, but will have to face stiff competition from the likes of fellow German René Wolff (both guys are World Champions in the Team Sprint), Individual Sprint and Keirin World Champion (and “Masters du Sprint” Classification winner at Palais des Sports) Laurent Gané of France, and his fellow countryman Arnaud Tournant, coming from the “Golden Sprint” victory he got in the same French track.

Last but not least, the “Young Guns” are given a chance to compete in front of a huge crowd and gain further experience in the 2003 edition of the “U23 Franziskaner Rad Open” race, this year combined to the third leg of the "UIV International Under 23 Madison Cup" (UIV-Cup), run by the “Union Internationale des Vélodromes” in co-operation with UIV members, and consisting of seven different rounds taking place in along with the Elite 6-days in Amsterdam (where the UVI-Cup opener was a 3-day event), Dortmund (another 3-day competition), Munich, Gent, Bremen, Stuttgart and Berlin.

So let’s get the party started for real, now … a party the "Daily Peloton" will be covering with daily news and results from the Olympiahalle.

40th Six Days of München - Startlist
  • Scott McGrory (Aus) - Matt Gilmore (Bel)
  • Bruno Risi - Kurt Betschart (Swi)
  • Franco Marvulli (Swi) - Marco Villa (Ita)
  • Andreas Kappes - Andreas Beikirch (Ger)
  • Andreas Müller - Guido Fulst (Ger)
  • Robert Slippens - Danny Stam (Hol)
  • Jimmi Madsen - Michael Sandstød (Den)
  • Robert Bartko (Ger) - Marty Nothstein (USA)
  • Ronnie Laucke - Thorsten Rund (Ger)
  • Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) - Jean-Pierre von Zijl (RSA)
  • Jan Bratkowski - Erik Weißpfennig (Ger)
  • Roland Garber - Franz Stocher (Aut)
  • Gerd Dörich - Stefan Löffler (Ger)
  • Bradley Wiggins (GBR) - Robert Sassone (Fra)
  • Daniel Becke - Lars Teutenberg (Ger)

39th Six Days of Munich (2002): Final Overall Standings

1. Scott McGrory (AUS) - Matthew Gilmore (BEL) - 349 points

at 1 lap
2. Bruno Risi - Kurt Betschart (SWI) - 365 points
3. Andreas Kappes - Andreas Beikirch (GER) - 297 points

at 4 laps
4. Robert Slippens - Danny Stam (HOL) - 209 points

at 5 laps
5. Andreas Müller - Guido Fulst (GER) - 140 points

at 6 laps
6. Adriano Baffi - Marco Villa (ITA) - 165 points
7. Jimmi Madsen (DEN) -Thorsten Rund (GER) - 120 points

at 7 laps
8. Stuart O'Grady (AUS) - Silvio Martinello (ITA) - 218 points

at 12 laps
9. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) - Marty Nothstein (USA) - 224 points

at 24 laps
10. Jens Lehmann - Ronny Lauke (GER) - 69 points

at 25 laps
11. Gerd Dörich - Mario Vonhof (GER) - 82 points
12. Lars Teutenberg - Frank Kowatschitsch (GER) - 65 points

at 26 laps
13. Stefan Steinweg - Erik Weispfennig (GER) - 56 points

at 30 laps
14. Lorenzo Lapage (BEL) - Christian Lademann (GER) - 52 point

U23 Franziskaner Rad Open - Final Standings:
1. Stefan Löffler - Daniel Palicki (GER) - 140 points
2. Leif Lamparter - Sebastian Frey (GER) - 126 points
3. Iljo Keisse - John Van Den Abeele (BEL) - 118 points
4. Andreas Welsch (GER) - Mikail Meikheev (RUS) - 104 points
5. Ralph Zimmermann - Oliver Mattmann (SWI) - 104 points
6. Aurel Siegel - Felix Wolf (GER) - 100 points
7. Jakob Dyrgaard - Alex Rasmussen (DEN) - 98 points
8. Stefan Schwiers - Jan Pokrandt (GER) - 68 points
9. Armin Krahl - Christian König (GER) - 62 points
10. Christian Ortkras - Jan Erik Schwarzer (GER) - 44 points
11. Christian Schwerdt - Sebastian Körber (GER) - 29 points
12. Michael Bückers - Paul Krickser (GER) - 26 points

Sprinters Competition - Final Standings:
1. Jens Fielder (Germany)
2. Sean Eadie (Australia)
3. René Wolff (Germany)
4. Jobie Dajka (Australia)

Six Days of Munich – Winners List

1933: Oscar Tietz - Franz Lehmann (GER)
1949: Robert Naye (BEL) - Maurice Depauw jr (BEL)
1950: Robert Naye - René Adriaensens (BEL)
1950: Kamiel Dekuysscher - Odile Van De Meerschaut (BEL)
1951: Emile Carrara - Guy Lapébie (FRA)
1952: Alfred Strom (AUS) - Ludwig Hörmann (GER)
1953: Walter Bücher (SWI) - Jean Roth (SWI)
1954: Hans Preiskeit - Ludwig Hörmann (GER)
1972: Sigi Renz - Wolfgang Schulze (GER)
1973: René Pijnen - Leo Duyndam (HOL)
1974: Sigi Renz (GER) - Graeme Gilmore (AUS)
1975: René Pijnen (HOL) - Günther Haritz (GER)
1976: Wilfried Peffgen - Albert Fritz (GER)
1977: Patrick Sercu - Eddy Merckx (BEL)
1978: Patrick Sercu (BEL) - Gregor Braun (GER)
1979: Patrick Sercu (BEL) - Dietrich Thurau (GER)
1980: Danny Clark - Don Allan (AUS)
1981: Danny Clark - Don Allan (AUS)
1982: René Pijnen (HOL) - Patrick Sercu (BEL)
1983: René Pijnen (HOL) - Urs Freuler (SWI)
1984: Hans-Henrik 0rsted - Gert Frank (DEN)
1985: René Pijnen (HOL) - Urs Freuler (SWI)
1986: Danny Clark (AUS) - Dietrich Thurau (GER)
1987: Urs Freuler (SWI) - Dietrich Thurau (GER)
1988: Danny Clark (AUS) - Tony Doyle (GB)
1989: Etienne De Wilde (BEL) - Andreas Kappes (GER)
1990: Danny Clark (AUS) - Tony Doyle (GB)
1991: Etienne De Wilde (BEL) - Andreas Kappes (GER)
1992: Olaf Ludwig (GER) - Urs Freuler (SWI)
1993: Bruno Risi - Kurt Betschart (SWI)
1994: Bruno Risi - Kurt Betschart (SWI)
1995: Etienne De Wilde (BEL) - Erik Zabel (GER)
1996: Adriano Baffi (ITA) - Giovanni Lombardi (ITA)
1997: Bruno Risi - Kurt Betschart (SWI)
1998: Bruno Risi - Kurt Betschart (SWI)
1999: Andreas Kappes (GER) - Silvio Martinello (ITA)
2000: Bruno Risi - Kurt Betschart (SWI)
2001: Erik Zabel (GER) - Silvio Martinello (ITA)
2002: Scott McGrory (AUS) - Matthew Gilmore (BEL)

Track Cycling on the “Daily Peloton” - 2003/2004 Season:

Six Days of Dortmund (Germany - Oct. 30-Nov. 04, 2003)
* Race Preview
* Day 1 - Results and Report
* Day 2 - Results and Report
* Day 3 - Results and Report
* Day 4 - Results and Report
* Day 5 - Results and Report
* Day 6 - Final Results

Six Days of Grenoble (France - Oct. 30-Nov. 04, 2003)
* Race Preview
* Day 1 Results
* Day 2 - Results and Report
* Day 3 - Results and Report
* Day 4 - Results and Report
* Day 5 - Results and Report
* Day 6 - Final Results

Six Days of Amsterdam (Holland - Oct. 20-25, 2003)
* Day 1 - Results and Report
* Day 2 - Results and Report
* Day 3 - Results and Report
* Day 4 - Results and Report
* Day 5 - Results and Report
* Day 6 - Final Results

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