The Welsh brand will be supporting 6 Welsh juniors as well as national and professional riders in four track meets over the winter.
Alex from howies said “We’re proud to be part of a nation responsible for producing current Olympic and World cycling champions and Revolution will be a great place for our Welsh team to race against giants in cycling. This years team kit has also been designed with elements of the Welsh flag for riders to fly in…. Pine. Rubber. Lycra and speed. We can’t wait”.
Other teams racing this season are: Team Sky, Rapha Condor Sharp, IG-Sigma Sport, Raleigh-GAC, NetApp-Endura, Rudy Project RT, Maxgear, Team Sportscover, Team WD40, Rouleur and FACE. These teams will bring a number of stars to the track; Sky and Rapha have named Alex Dowsett and Olympian Ed Clancy. The lineup also includes three of our own writers; Tom Murray (IG-Sigma Sport), paralympian Jody Cundy (riding for FACE) & six day rider Christian Grasmann (Rudy Project RT).
“5 steps to Podium” – Instructions on how to get on the podium at the Sixdays in Bremen, starring the Rudy Project Racing Team with Leif Lampater, Christian Grasmann & Robert Bengsch.
Bremem Six Day Image ©Copyright Wim Hoste
The Six Day in Bemem went well for the Rudy Project riders and their partners. Leif Lampater & Iljo Keisse led the 48th edition of the event as they drove the first double of the evening and fought until the very end for the win. Robert Bengsch and his partner Alois Kankovsky were one of the strongest teams and led the overall standings.
The favourites Robert Barkto and Peter Schep in the final chase around the track pushed the duos of Franco Marvulli & Marcel Kalz and Leif Lampater & Iljo Keisse into second and third respectively. Bengsch and Kankovski sailed in in 5th place. Myself and Rafal Ratajczyk finished overall in 8th place.
“The cresults last night weren’t bad,” said Leif Lapater, “we knew there would be strong competition from Bartko/Schep and Marvulli/Kalz.”
In the Team Elimination it came down to an early battle of the top three teams. Lampater/Keisse won against Bartko/Schep and also the Swiss German duo were able to increase their score. Leading up to the sprint the top three teams remained the same but were joined by Marc Hester/ Andreas Müller. Leif Lampater and Iljo Keisse attacked again with about fifty laps to go, but were pursued by Marvulli/Kalz and Barkto/Schep. “We tried everything, but the other two teams were paying attention,” commented Leif.
With 20 laps to go only Robert Barkto and Peter Schep had the strength left for a final attack and won the final round. Marvulli/Kalz who were the only team to crack the 300 point mark (318), pushed Leif Lampater and Iljo Keisse into 3rd place with (291 points).
On 26th January, Leif along with last years winner Roger Kluge will be at the start of the Berlin Six Day Race. Robert Bengsch, the winner of the Bremem Six Days in 2011 will form a pairing with Marcel Kalz (this years second place in Bremem), a powerful team. “Leif and I will give everything in Berlin,” said Robert Bengsch.
Full race results are below the German translation.
In der ersten Nacht übernahm Leif Lampater zusammen mit Iljo Keisse die Führung der 48. Bremer Sixdays , sie fuhren die erste Doublette des Sechstagerennens ein und kämpften bis zuletzt um den Sieg. Auch Robert Bengsch gehörte mit seinem Partner Alois Kankovsky zu den stärksten Teams und führte zwischenzeitlich die Gesamtwertung an. Die Favoriten Robert Bartko/ Peter Schep erfuhren in der finalen Jagd einen Rundenvorsprung und verwiesen das Duo Franco Marvulli/ Marcel Kalz und Leif Lampater/ Iljo Keisse auf den zweiten und dritten Platz. Bengsch/ Kankovski fuhren auf den 5. Gesamtplatz, Christian Grasmann belegte mit Rafael Ratajczyk den achten Platz.
„Die Voraussetzungen vor der letzten Nacht waren nicht schlecht“, wusste Leif Lampater, „wir lagen mit den stärksten Konkurrenten Bartko/ Schep und Marvulli/ Kalz in der Nullrunde“. Im Mannschaftsausscheidungsfahren kam es dann zu einem vorgezogenen Duell der drei führenden Teams. Lampater/ Keisse gewannen vor Bartko/ Schep und dem schweizerisch-deutschen Duo und konnten ihren Punktestand erhöhen. Auch das Derny-Finale entschieden der Irschenberger und sein belgischer Partner für sich, jedoch hatten Bartko/ Schep und Marvulli/ Kalz mit mehr Punkten in die große Jagd. Bis zu den Wertungssprints blieben die drei führenden Teams sowie Marc Hester/ Andreas Müller gleichauf. Leif Lampater und Iljo Keisse attackierten knapp fünfzig Runden vor Schluss erneut, wurden jedoch von Marvulli/ Kalz und Bartko/ Schep verfolgt. „Wir haben alles probiert, aber die beiden anderen Teams haben gut aufgepasst“, so Lampater. Knapp zwanzig Runden vor Schluss hatten nur Robert Bartko und Peter Schep die Kraft für den letzten Angriff und schafften den finalen Rundengewinn. Marvulli und Kalz, die als einziges Team die 300-Punkte-Marke geknackt hatten (318 Punkte), verwiesen Leif Lampater und Iljo Keisse auf den dritten Rang (291 Punkte). Am 26. Januar geht Leif Lampater mit dem Vorjahressieger Roger Kluge beim Berliner Sechstagerennen an den Start. Auch Robert Bengsch, der Sieger der Bremer Sixdays 2011, wird in Berlin mit Marcel Kalz, dem diesjährigen Zweiten in Bremen, ein leistungsstarkes Team bilden. „Leif und ich werden auch in Berlin alles geben“, so Robert Bengsch.
Standings Name Nat. Result
1 SCHEP/BARTKO 293
Robert BARTKO GER
Peter SCHEP NED
2 MARVULLI/KALZ 318
Marcel KALZ GER
Franco MARVULLI SUI
3 LAMPATER/KEISSE 291
Iljo KEISSE BEL
Leif LAMPATER GER
4 HESTER/MÜLLER 214
Marc HESTER DEN
Andreas MUELLER AUT
5 KANKOVSKÝ/BENGSCH 221
Robert BENGSCH GER
Alois KANKOVSKY CZE
6 STAM/MOHS 176
Erik MOHS GER
Danny STAM NED
7 KADLEC/BARTH 182
Marcel BARTH GER
Martin KADLEC CZE
8 GRASMANN/RATAJCZYK 112
Christian GRASMANN GER
Rafal RATAJCZYK POL
9 J. MØRKØV/THÖMEL 105
Jesper MORKOV DEN
Timo THÖMEL GER
10 SIMES/REINHARDT 88
Theo REINHARDT GER
Jackie SIMES USA
11 EDMÜLLER/PIETERS 60
Benjamim EDMÜLLER GER
Roy PIETERS NED
12 HUFF/MATZKA 102
Charles Bradley HUFF USA
Ralf MATZKA GER
Sixdays Bremen from the Riders Perspective from Rudy Project Racing Team Channel.
Preliminary state – after the first night already, Leif Lampater led the international pro cycling field of the 2012 Sixdays in Bremen. 4 nights down and the RPRT [Rudy Project Racing Team] is still up for a win in one of the most prestigious 6days in Europe: Leif 3rd, Robert Bengsch 5th and I’m in 8th. 2 nights to go.
Tom Murray - Image © Anna Magrath Cycling Shorts.
This winter I set off to the Gent, Six days full of enthusiasm and excitement, its somewhere I have great memories off, somewhere I have passed down many a story about to my friends, family and anyone else who would listen. But there is a problem, a worry stuck in my head I think the world needs to know, but first I better tell you why I qualify to worry about the six days.
The Kuipke track has always been close to my heart, in truth it’s the whole reason I got to ride a bike for a living. As a young kid my parents took me across to Gent to watch the six day with Ben Swift I remember us both sitting there staring in amazement as the six day rolled on and on into the early hours of the night and the party in the middle of the track got more and more wild and out of hand. I made a decision there and then that I wanted to ride the six days, I wanted a piece of that atmosphere to be part of the whole circus, it felt a lot more than just a bike race is was entertaining and a real show.
The thought of riding at Kuipke in the six days didn’t leave me and a few years later I moved to Gent to live with a Belgian family in the heart of cycling land. Riding for the Kingsnorth International team I spent three years riding on the kermis circuit out in Belgium, a great experience. One that taught me how to be a racing cyclist in truth and in 2007 I was finally lucky enough to get an invitation to ride the Noel Fore Memorial event on the Kuipke track. It had taken some getting there but I had made it onto the track in Gent. Even better was that after a good performance riding with Peter Williams against mostly national squads we received an invitation to the UIV amateur six days of Gent. It was the best news ever; I was to be involved in some small way in the six days! I remember the six nights well, it was hard, a real learning experience, some nights went well others went awful but it didn’t really matter I was part of the six day show, full of adrenaline and excitement.
After that first amateur six day, over the next three years I was lucky enough to ride twice more in Gent and once in Amsterdam, Dortmund and in between took in International events in Alkmaar, Munich and on the new Eddy Merckx track in Gent. Every event was a new experience, a new place, different people a proper adventure, you didn’t always know how you would get from place to place. Once along with Tom Smith I was stuffed in the back of Iljo Keisse’s car along with his huge number six flower after been left stranded in Amsterdam! But that was all part of been immersed in the six day circuit. Although I never got to step up to the professional six day circuit I am happy that for a small while I was part of it, even if that part was pretty small.
So what’s my problem? Well, the atmosphere at Gent this year was pretty subdued, the showmen or orchestrator of the sixes seemed to have disappeared (granted Keisse who is probably the current star of the sixes wasn’t able to take part) and the crowd seemed more interested in the bar than the track. My theory on the reason for this is the changing face of track racing, something that was once fairly individual that didn’t rely on you been in a big backed trade team or part of a national set up now seems to be exactly that. Add to this the exclusion of the Madison from the Olympic Games and it seems like while track racing is becoming universally more popular and important the six days is not been pulled along with it.
In my last year of riding the amateur six days it became more difficult to gain an entry as a result of not been the ‘national’ selection of your country, it had changed from riders who had done it off their own backs, who wanted to be there and be part of it, people who travelled in the back of transit vans from event to event all to be part of the six day circus to deadly serious national selections who the majority of the time while respecting the events were gearing up for bigger and better things on an international stage. This year when I went back and saw the UIV amateur six it was exclusively national selection teams, that’s not that there’s a problem with those riders I’m sure they want to be there and enjoy the experience but in reality there going to move on from the six day circuit to focus on World Championships, Olympic Disciplines or a road career, leaving little for the professional six day circuit to pick from when they look for new riders.
I think that’s the problem, while as the sport gains in popularity the professional six day’s may have to come in line with new format’s that interest a wider audience but the amateur six days should always allow entries from those who have their own dreams and ambitions and follow them. These people are where your characters come from after all. The current six day star Iljo Keisse grew up riding on Kuipke, his dad owns a bar just round the corner from it, he’s a true six day rider who grew up watching the six days and wanted to be part of that, take away the possibility of that happening and in effect your killing the six days slowly. True there are still some rides left, Franco Marvulli and Danny Stam spring to mind, but what happens when they have hung up the wheels, where are the next true six day riders coming from?
Sport’s grow, evolve and change, the UCI in their wisdom have proved this by booting the Madison and individual pursuits out but some things should stay the same for their own good.