Baffi win in
16th Stuttgarter Sechstagerennen
With a track that is 285 metres in length, the Stuttgart Six is probably one of the hardest six-day races to gain a lap at. This should ensure that we see some close racing, with teams slugging it out for the points.
Germany's Andreas Kappes got off to a good start with his partner Adriano Baffi, leading by 3 points at the end of the first night. Kappes has won two six-day races this year with Belgium's world madison champion, Etienne de Wilde, but said on German TV on the opening night that he wanted to be sure of having a strong partner for this race. Seems a bit of an odd statement to me, but there you go!
Italy's Silvio Martinello is back in action at Stuttgart, having missed the Berlin and Bremen sixes due to a knee injury. Martinello is lurking half way down the field, an unusual place for him, but it's nice to see him back on his bike.
By the end of the third day (the Sunday session, which is run in the afternoon), up-and-coming Danish pairing of Jimmi Madsen and Tayeb Braikia had gained a one-lap lead over Kappes and Baffi. Madsen and Braikia have been right up there in the top places in most of the six-day races this season, and it must be only a question of time before they score their first win together (both have won sixes with other partners). Maybe Stuttgart will be the one for them?
Day four saw Madsen and Braikia build their lead. These two Danish riders have finished in the top three of every six-day event this season except for Bremen, so they must surely be due a win soon! Meantime, Bruno Risi was sent back to the hotel early by the race doctor after he was found to be suffering a touch of bronchitis. It appears there were a few technical problems with the heating system in the hall, and several of the riders complained about the cold draughty conditions. Risi had to abandon the race and head home for Switzerland, hoping to recuperate in time for the Copenhagen Six that starts on Friday.
The fifth night at the Stuttgart six-day race saw Andreas Kappes and Adriano Baffi regain the lead, but their one-lap advantage will be cancelled out when Madsen / Braikia hit 500 points - and they have 395 points heading into the final night! It promises to be an exciting finish, with Silvio Martinello and Marco Villa in with a very outside chance of victory if they can gain a lap.
The final night's racing proved every bit as exciting as we had hoped. With just 45 laps to go in the final chase, Kappes / Baffi led from Madsen / Braikia by some 40 points and the Danes, seeing that their only chance was to gain a lap, put in a valiant attack. They got their crucial lap with 35 laps to go to become race leaders by one lap, then they were baulked by tail-enders as they caught the bunch. A furious Jimmi Madsen had to pass on the safety area below the track, shaking his fist at the riders who had blocked his passage, and the Danes missed their change. We'll never know what would have happened if other riders hadn't got in their way, but I personally think that this cost them the race.
In the end, Kappes and Baffi attacked a few laps later and re-gained the lost lap with 28 laps to go. They went on to win by 50 points, nothcing up Andreas Kappes' fourth win in Stuttgart.
I am also delighted to share some good news with you, gentle reader: I heard from world Madison champion Matt Gilmore today. Matt is recovering well from his nasty crash at Herning last October, and hopes to be able to start training on the road again this week. So far, he's been confined to training at home in Belgium on his turbo trainer, and he must be getting sick of the sight of the infernal machine by now. Matt asked me pass on his thanks to everybody who has sent him good wishes since his crash.
And talking of crashed riders ..... Lars Teutenberg has been in touch to say he's recovering well from his crash in Bremen. His head is OK now (he landed on it, and was taken to hospital with concussion), but his broken collar bone will keep him off his bike for another couple of weeks. Gute Besserung, Lars!
Incidentally, readers in Europe may like to know that the final hour of the Stuttgart Six will be broadcast live at 23:00 European time / 22:00 UK time on Wednesday evening on the German SW3 television station - on my satellite dish, that's channel 61!
Overall, some 50,000 spectators turned out to watch the Stuttgart Six-Day race. Attendance figures were down a couple of thousand on last year, but the organisers were pleased with the event and the quality of the racing.
1 Andreas Kappes (GER) / Adriano Baffi (ITA), 498 points
2 Jimmi Madsen / Tayeb Braikia (DEN), 454 points,
1 laps down
3 Silvio Martinello / Marco Villa (ITA), 297 points,
2 laps down:
4 Gerd Dörich / Carsten Wolf (GER), 271 points,
5 Etienne De Wilde (BEL) / Olaf Pollack (GER), 223 points,
6 Jens Lehmann (GER) / Scott McGrory (AUS), 205 points
Results below here from night 5
6 laps down:
6 Scott McGrory (AUS) / Jens Lehmann (GER), 171 points,
7 laps down:
8 Erik Weispfennig / Stefan Steinweg (GER), 128 points,
8 Andreas Beikirch / Andreas Walzer (GER), 112 points,
10 laps down:
9 Jakob Piil (DEN) / Robert Bartko (GER), 212 points
To find out how to book tickets for the Stuttgart Six, check out Roger Hughes' booking info.
If you want details of the 1998 race, have a read of my report of last year's Stuttgart Six.
And while you're here, why not have a look at some photos of cycle racing action from other six-day bike races?
Do you have any news about the Stuttgart 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!
Return to Fat Nick's main page