The Dortmund 6 is the first of the German six-day races this year, and one of the first two "sixes" on the calendar (along with the Grenoble Six, which for some reason I don't understand is held at exactly the same time). This 1999 edition is the 58th Dortmund six-day bike race.
On the first night, Swiss stars Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart took a one-lap lead over local rider Andreas Beikirch and his Danish partner Jimmi Madsen, with local hero (and last year's winner in Dortmund) Rolf Aldag in third place with his Italian partner Silvio Martinello. Risi and Betschart have won the Dortmund Six four times already, and they'd certainly like to make that five times. And with Bruno Risi still smiling from his win in the World Points race in Berlin, it is certainly a good possibility.
By the end of night two, Rolf Aldag and Silvio Martinello had pulled themselves up onto the same lap as the Swiss "Alpine Express", and led by a few points. Beikirch and Madsen were "best of the rest", one lap down but also with more points in the bag than Risi and Betschart.
Saturday night (the third night) saw Aldag / Martinello and Risi / Betschart assert themselves as the two favourite pairs for overall victory - although it looks like Aldag / Martinello had a one lap lead over the Swiss pair, remember that they were on 200 points, so they had just been awarded a bonus lap (you get one bonus lap for every 100 points). With the Swiss lads on 176 points, their bonus lap was also in sight.
The clocks went back an hour on Saturday night, and the riders probably appreciated it since they had to be up "early" (by their nocturnal standards) on Sunday to start racing in the early afternoon. Still, at least they knew they'd be in bed before midnight, with racing due to finish in the early evening.
Germany's newly crowned world Pursuit champion, Robert Bartko from Berlin (OK, he's from Potsdam, but that really is splitting hairs!) is riding with experienced Australian six-day man Scott McGrory. Fat Nick saw Bartko ride in the 1999 Berlin Six last January, and he gave an impressive performance there. Watch out for Bartko in future six-day races. At 23, he is Fat Nick's tip for the future.
Incidentally, regular readers may wonder what former world Madison champions Etienne de Wilde and Matt Gilmore are doing 15 laps down, slumming it with the mere mortals? Apparently, Matt has had a bit of a dodgy tum all week. Get well soon Matt!
The 1999 Dortmund Six kept the drama going right to the very end. After Martinello and Rolf Aldag had led for virtually the whole race, Swiss stars Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart showed their class on the final night. In a nail-biting final Madison, Risi outsprinted Martinello to win the very last sprint of the race, and to take victory by just two points. This is the 24th Six-day victory for the two Swiss lads from the village of Urn.
1. Bruno Risi / Kurt Betschart (CH) 418 points
2. Rolf Aldag / Silvio Martinello (Ger / Ita) 416 points
One lap down:
3. Andreas Beikirch / Jimmi Madsen (Ger / Den) 354
4. Robert Bartko / Scott McGrory (Ger / Aus) 346
four laps down:
5. Andreas Kappes / Olaf Pollack (Ger) 211
Twelve laps down:
6. Christian Lademann / Stefan Steinweg (Ger) 216
Fifteen laps down:
7. Matt Gilmore / Etienne De Wilde (Bel) 109
Twenty two laps down:
8. Lars Teutenberg / Christian Weber (Ger / CH) 157
To find out how to book tickets for the Dortmund 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 ?
Do you have any news about the Dortmund 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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