The Swiss riders Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart won the Munich six-day cycle race for a record fifth time in a thrilling race that was not decided until the final few sprints of the very last evening. In the end, Risi's blistering speed was just too much for Germany's Andreas Kappes and his Italian partner Adriano Baffi - but the two teams had to work together during the last half horu of the race to nullify a daring and dangerous attack by top Danish stars Jimmi Madsen and Tayeb Braikia, who were a lap down but held more points.
The Munich Six is an absolute classic, held in the Munich Olympic Stadium and with a seating capacity of about 14,000 people per night. This year, the starting gun will be fired by Tour de France and Giro d'Italia winner Marco Pantani. Meantime, fellow Italian Mario Cipollini will ride the Munich six-day bike race partnered by top six-day man Silvio Martinello.
On the first night, a crowd of 8,000 spectators watched last year's winners Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart take an early lead. By the weekend, 13,500 spectators were pouring in through the doors of Munich's Olympic stadium to watch the race. When I watched on Eurosport on Friday evening, Risi & Betschart appeared to be on brilliant form, managing to gain a lap faster than any other team - which makes them hot favourites for another victory to add to their previous 3 wins in Munich, in my book. Martinello and Cipollini are struggling - "Cipo" is working hard, but doesn't look a natural on the track - and then there's always the fact that they had a big falling out that resulted in Martinello (his former lead-out man on the road) being "invited to leave" Cipo's Saeco team a year or so back. I somehow don't expect to see these two having cosy chats in the cabin between races! On Saturday, Cipollini was experiencing knee problems, and had to be neutralised for a while during the big chase.
Denmark's Tayeb Braikia and Jimmi Madsen are also looking very good in this race. Both of their regular partners are out due to injuries, but these two AcceptCard teammates have meshed together very well indeed.
Andreas Kappes, a 31 year-old from Cologne, and 36 year-old Adriano Baffi (who used to be Silvio Martinello's regular six-day partner) came second, having led for much of the race. Germany's Lars Teutenberg crashed out of the Munich Six, and was sent to hospital with a suspected broken hip. Fortunately, Fat Nick understands that Lars' injuries are confined to deep bruising. He'll miss the Ghent Six, but will be back in action at Zurich.
Incidentally, Eurosport will be showing a couple of hours of the Munich six-day cycle race live on television in Europe, late in the evening on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th November, and also the final hour of the race on Tuesday 11th November.
1 Bruno Risi Kurt Betschart (SUI), 396 points
2 Adriano Baffi (ITA) Andreas Kappes (GER), 388 points
1 laps down:
3 Jimmi Madsen Tayeb Braikia (DEN), 375 points
3 laps down:
4 Etienne De Wilde (BEL) Marco Villa (ITA), 254 points
5 laps down:
5 Scott McGrory (AUS) Stefan Steinweg (GER), 262 points
11 laps down:
6 Andrea Collinelli (ITA) Michael Sandstĝd (DEN), 149 points
13 laps down:
7 Jens Lehmann Andreas Beikirch (GER), 149 points
14 laps down:
8 Silvio Martinello Mario Cipollini (ITA), 311 points
28 laps down:
9 Carsten Wolf Gerd Dörich (GER), 132 points
10 Jean-Michel Monin (FRA) Frank Corvers (BEL), 124 points
29 laps down:
11 Olaf Pollack Torsten Rund (GER), 94 points
37 laps down:
12 Erik Weispfennig Frank Kowatschitsch (GER), 80 points
46 laps down:
13 Pierre-Yves Archambault (FRA) Lorenzo Lapage (BEL), 46 points
55 laps down:
14 Andreas Walzer Christian Lademann (GER), 52 points
Did not finished due to crash: Lars Teutenberg (GER) and Mario Vonhof (GER).
To find out how to book tickets for the Munich Six, check out Roger Hughes' booking info. And while you're here, why not have a look at some photos of cycle racing action from last year's six-day bike races? For the truly sad amongst you, I can even offer a list of previous winners of the Münchener sechstagerennen.
Do you have any news about the Munich Six? Drop an e-mail to if you do, or send him a fax at 0044 161 476 2914 - Fat Nick reads German, so grotty photocopies of results sheets and local newspapers are gratefully received!
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