Schmidt ends Six Day hiatus with Berlin crown as Germans lead the men’s field
27 January 2019
Danish and German cyclists led the way on day three of Six Day Berlin, with Trine Schmidt being crowned champion in the women’s competition and Max Levy strengthening his position at the top of the sprint standings.
Spurred on by a raucous crowd in the German capital, Levy roared to wins in the 250 Flying Time Trial and the sprint to pull clear of closest rival Denis Dmitriev and delight a buzzing Velodrom.
There was more German success in the men’s competition as home duo Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt eclipsed their rivals to shoot to the top of the standings, but the story of the evening was undoubtedly Schmidt’s remarkable victory after a five-year sabbatical from Six Day cycling.
Sitting atop the leaderboard after day two in Berlin, the 30-year-old set positioned herself perfectly for the landmark triumph by taking the 20km Madison with Julie Leth earlier in the evening.
And with rivalries restored as the two Danes – first and second in the standings ahead of the climax of the women’s competition – returned to the individual events to battle it out for gold, Schmidt swept to victory in the 10km scratch race to seal the deal in emotional fashion.
“It’s very significant,” a beaming Schmidt said after her win. “Every win is an important win and I’m super happy about these three days. It’s amazing – I don’t have words for it.
“I had five years off and I missed it (cycling) but now I’m back, I’m happy and it’s going in the right direction. Now I’m aiming for big results in the World Championships and Olympics.
“I have big dreams and I’m on fire.”
With the destination of the women’s title already confirmed, a host of top cyclists will now be looking to emulate Schmidt by taking the men’s title.
German duo Kluge and Reinhardt are currently in pole position following a hugely successful evening at the Velodrom in which the world champions champions powered to victory in the evening’s final event, the Madison, and Reinhardt edged Andreas Graf to take the 40-lap derny.
Defending champion Wim Stroetinga remains in contention to retain his title following his win with fellow Dutchman Robbie Ghys in the Madison Chase, while decorated Polish pair Wojciech Pszczolarski and Daniel Staniszewski edged a straight shootout with the Austrians to reign supreme in the Team Elimination.
Just 12 points now separate the top three in the standings heading into day four, leaving the competition finely poised for a rip-roaring conclusion.
Meanwhile, in the men’s sprint section, home favourite Levy continued his stunning form in the 250 Flying Time Trial to continue his 100 per cent record in the discipline.
Buoyed by the Berlin faithful, the popular 31-year-old then staved off the threat of nearest rival Denis Dmitriev in a beguiling and potentially decisive sprint race.
Levy’s advantage over Dmitriev is now a mammoth 35 points despite Russia’s victory over the Franco-German team in the men’s team sprint.
There was also success for French veteran Francois Pervis, who showed his prowess in the keirin to take first place ahead of Russian Shane Perkins.
Headlines aplenty on day three of Six Day Berlin, but the defining image of a scintillating evening in the Velodrom had been Schmidt’s glory in the women’s competition – a fairytale story played out under the neon lights that sets the Dane up perfectly for another busy year on the boards.
Follow all things Six Day on Twitter here