Six Day Berlin 2018: Levy back to defend title as tickets go on sale
22 June 2017
Born little more than 500m from the Berlin Velodrom, the track on which he took his first pedal strokes as a budding cyclist, it is no surprise Berlin Six Day holds a special place in Maximilian Levy’s heart and why he will be back to defend his title at Six Day Berlin 2017.
A six-time winner of the sprint event there, Levy makes the race a priority in his season every year, and in 2017 even sacrificed a place at the Track World Championships just so he could ride through the pain in his home race – tickets for which went on sale today.
At only 29, Levy already has three Olympic medals, four world titles and 11 Six Day Berlin appearances to his name – as well as three broken collar bones.
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The third one of those was sustained just ten days before the 2017 edition of Six Day Berlin was set to begin, but that did not stop him riding, and winning, the 106th edition at a canter from compatriot Robert Forstemann.
“Growing up it was also really a big goal to be good enough to be selected to race there,” he said.
“I was born in Berlin. The hospital where I was born is just 500m from the velodrome. And when I started cycling I started in Berlin.
“It was the first track I ever rode on. Later I changed to Cottbus, a small city 1.5 hours outside Berlin, where I live, but Berlin is like coming home for me.
“This year was my 11th participation in the elite race at the Berlin Six Days, so it’s very special to me.
“I am used to doing it, and I look forward to it all the winter, when I have a hard training session I just look forward to being back in front of the amazing crowd.
“I enjoy it and it gives me a big boost for the rest of the season.”
For a Berliner, the thought of a January night at the Six Day is one filled with tradition.
With a winners’ list boasting names such as Eddy Merckx, Patrick Sercu, Peter Post and Danny Clark, Six Day Berlin is one of the premier events in the winter cycling calendar.
It’s not just the historical greats that have graced the Berlin Velodrom boards, though, with current Six Day Series champions Kenny de Ketele and Moreno de Pauw winning there in 2016, while other modern day greats such as Alex Rasmussen, Michael Morkov and Bruno Risi have also tasted success there in the last ten years.
And despite Levy being a sprinter, it was those names that fuelled his fire to share the stage with them as a child.
“I was there as a ten-year-old and I wanted to ride there,” he added.
“For me, it was the sixth time I’ve won in 2017, but still it is special. I also won the 100th edition, and when I started cycling in 1997 it was the first Six Day that I saw, with Olaf Ludwig and Jens Veggerby.
“Later my heroes were like Bruno Risi and I was watching him, then I was starting next to him when I grew up.
“You see the riders that have won here, I think it means a lot to more than just German riders, too.”
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