The 1997 Zurich Six Day Race

December 1st - 7th 1997

Martinello and Villa win the Zurich six-day race!

In a thrilling final evening that kept the crowd in suspense until the race was decided on the very final sprint at 5 o'clock on Sunday morning, Italian pairing of world points champion Silvio Martinello and Marco Villa won the Zurich 6-day race ahead of local heros Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart.

Final Results:

1. Silvio Martinello/Marco Villa (It) 312
2. Bruno Risi/Kurt Betschart (Switz.) 305
3. Adriano Baffi/Juan Llaneras (It/Sp) 284
4. Carsten Wolf/Andreas Kappes (Ger) 261
5. Etienne de Wilde/Matthew Gilmore (Bel/Aus) 140 (+ 1 lap)
6. Urs Freuler/Scott McGrory (Switz./Aus) 151 (+12 laps)
7. Jakob Piil/Tayeb Braikia (Den) 210 (+13)
8. Gerd Dörich/Lars Teutenberg (Ger) 80 (+13)
9. Rik van Slijcke/Laurenzo Lapage (Bel) 39 (+28)
10. Stefan Steinweg/Andreas Walzer (Ger) 65 (+33)
11. Ralf Liehner/Andreas Beikirch (Ger) 77 (+38)
12. Patrick Vetsch/Alex Aeschbach (Switz.) 60 (+39)
13. Jens Lehmann/Peter Pieters (Ger/Holl.) 140 (+41)
14. Guido Fulst/Matthew Allan (Ger/Aus) 102 (+42)
15. Peter Jörg/Christian Weber (Switz) 74 (+45)
16. Rob Hayles/Jean-Michel Monin (GB/Fr) 77 (+46 laps)

Background information:

The 45th Zurich Six-day cycle race started on Monday in Zurich's Hallenstadion in the Oerlikon district of the city. Last year's winners Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart are hot favourites, but they will face stiff competition from Italy's Silvio Martinello and Marco Villa, and from top Danes Jens Veggerby and Jimmi Madsen.

This year sees various organisational changes. Previous organiser Sepp Voegeli is sadly no longer with us, and Ursula Döringer takes over at the helm. There will be more Derny-paced racing this year (two races per night, instead of one), and the amateurs will only race at the beginning of the evening. Shame - I bet they'll miss their traditional second session at midnight! There's even some tandem racing on the final night.

Britain's Rob Hayles is also riding - this will be his first professional Six-Day race, and Fat Nick wishes him well. Hayles is riding with Frenchman Jean-Michel Monin, a veteran of 28 "sixes".

The prize money is good, with 650,000 Swiss Francs worth of prizes (or quarter of a million pounds, if you prefer British money!).

Risi and Betschart won the most unusual race of Tuesday night - a Derny-paced Madison. Most other six-day races include Derny-paced events, but usually with just one rider -involved, not both riders from the team. This is the first Derny-paced Madison to be held at Zurich for 32 years, and the two lads from Urn won it at a record speed of 61.471 km/h.


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