Six Day Berlin – 2018 in pictures
31 January 2018
For 107 editions Berlin has been a staple part of the Six Day diet but few will have matched 2018 for drama, entertainment and high-quality racing.
For six days the German boards were the foundation for thrill-a-minute racing, with four sets of elite riders putting their bodies to the test, also giving female sprinters their first crack at the Six Day Berlin whip.
True to form the drama continued right down to the very last race as defending champions Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga successfully made it back-to-back titles, holding off the advances of 2016 winners Kenny de Ketele and Moreno de Pauw.
The best of the final day’s action is here but for a snapshot at what went on down the lens, look no further than Six Day Berlin – 2018 in pictures.
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The Dutch and Belgian teams may have done the early running but the home teams were certainly up there with them, notably Roger Kluge and partner Theo Reinhardt after winning an opening-day Madison.
The curtain-raiser also saw proud history continue with the Race of Legends, putting together heroes from across the decades together on one track.
Day two saw the women’s endurance riders show what they’re made of, with none achieving that task better than Allison Beveridge, winner of the omnium.
Rivals on the track, when the racing stopped the Six Day Berlin riders were the best of friends – with friendships old and new on display in the track centre cabins.
The women’s competition drew to a close in much the same way it began as France’s Laurie Berthon prevailed to top the standings, while Italy’s Maria Giulia Confalonieri and Elisa Balsamo took Madison honours.
There was no looking back for Stroetinga and Havik, leaving everyone in their wake to take a crucial win in the day’s 45-minute Madison race.
From endurance to pace and there was no entertainment quite like that of the Six Day sprinters, forcing Max Levy to work very hard for his seventh Berlin crown.
Few wins at Six Day Berlin were as emotionally felt as Andreas Muller’s in the scratch race, with the ‘chairman of the boards’ defying his 38 years to take a superb victory in his 19th Six Day Berlin.
Meanwhile the male sprinters continued apace with the finals, a keirin and sprint time trials – though they still found room for the odd addition to their helmets or two along the way.
Day four saw the female sprinters take to the track for the first time, with Kristina Vogel proving unmatchable – completing a clean sweep of victories.
With Sunday also came the tradition Family Day at Six Day Berlin as cycling fans old and young got their chance to lap up the atmosphere – both on and off the track!
Vogel continued to be at her electric best for the home support, going on the set track records throughout the week, thanks in no small part to the familiar track-side fan-club.
His last race may not have come until day six but the penultimate outing brought the special moment for Nate Koch, signing off with victory in the keirin as he prepares for his off-track adventure.
As for the men’s Six Day competition, there was barely a thing to separate the leading pairs as de Ketele and de Pauw took a two-point lead into the final day.
Meanwhile the women’s sprinters joined forces as Germany won the team event, Vogel and Miriam Welte the ones left celebrating another successful night for their country.
After six days of sprint brilliance, it was Levy who found his groove on day six to hold off Stefan Boetticher to complete his magnificent seven of Six Day Berlin titles.
But there was no doubting who would prevail in the women’s competition as Vogel finished with just one defeat throughout the entire three days of action.
And there was just enough time to say goodbye to Six Day Berlin’s favourite son, Team Nater, and all his best poses!
But after that came the cut and thrust of the men’s Madison, with a stunning performance from the Flying Dutchmen leading them to a second title together.