The 1997/98 Cologne Six Day Race

December 30th 1997- January 4th 1998

Andreas Kappes and Adriano Baffi win last Cologne six-day race!

Local German rider Andy Kappes, paired with Italy's Adriano Baffi, saw in the New Year in style by winning what may well prove to be the last Cologne Six (the 46th to have been held). It is Andreas Kappes' sixteenth six-day victory overall, and his fourth victory in the Cologne race - he won it in 1990, 1991 and 1996 with Belgium's Etienne de Wilde. Some 7000 spectators turned up to watch the final night's racing.

The Cologne stadium is due for re-development shortly, and there are no plans to include a velodrome in the new building. However, Fat Nick's friend Roger Hughes went along to watch the Cologne Six (there has to be some benefit to living in Belgium!), and sends us this report:

"The 46th and possibly last Köln six-day went down to the wire, with hometown boy Andreas Kappes (rdiing with Adriano Baffi) outsprinting Silvio Martinello (with his usual partner Marco Villa) at the end of the final madison to keep a slender points margin. Also on the same lap were Jimmy Madsen and Jens Veggerby, while Risi/Betschart, De Wilde/Gilmore and a surprising Teutenberg/Dörich only lost ground in the final stages of the last chase.

The event was the last in the Kölner Sporthalle, which is to be redeveloped without a track. It was one of the smaller and friendlier events in Germany, attracting a total crowd of 38 000 over the six sessions this year, and had been running at the site since 1959, taking up where it left off when the Nazis closed down the German six-day circuit in the early 1930s. As you might expect, it was a fairly emotional occasion, but there was a note of optimism in some of the speeches (as far as I could follow them, since my German is very flaky: however, the words "Ron Webb", "Herning" and "movable track" came up a bit, and there was lots of cheering)."

Final Results:

1. Andreas Kappes - Adriano Baffi (Germany/Italy) 304 points
2. Silvio Martinello - Marco Villa (Italy) 296
3. Jens Veggerby - Jimmi Madsen (Denmark) 246
4. Bruno Risi - Kurt Betschart (Switzerland) 195 (+1 lap)
5. Lars Teutenberg - Gerd Dörich (Germany) 177 (+2 laps)
6. Etienne de Wilde - Matt Gilmore (Belgium/Australia) 173 (+2 laps)
7. Beikirch - Scott McGrory (Germany/Australia) 135 (+ 6 laps)
8. Andreas Walzer - Stefan Steinweg (German) 84 points (+ 15 laps)
9. Guido Fulst - Mario Vonhof (Germany) 77 points (+ 30 laps)
10. Jens Lehmann - Jean-Michel Monin (Germany/France) 58 points (+ 44 laps)

In the amateur Cologne Six, Britain's James Notley and Rob Wood finsihed seventh overall.

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