Marc Hester entered the final day of racing with an eight point lead ahead of German rival Max Beyer. Would the Dane hold on and clinch his first Series win?
Read the report or watch the video below to catch up on the action!
The penultimate race of the competition started fast with all the riders bunched for the sprint to the line. Polish rider, Filip Prokopyszyn was the first rider deemed to be eliminated by the judges. The young rider was just beaten to the line by last time’s winner, Max Beyer. Unable to survive for a second time, Beyer found himself off the back coming round to the second elimination lap of the race. The German exited the race in a disappointing fifth place. Next to fall and marginally missing out on a podium place was Arne Birkemose in the green jersey. The 22-year old from Denmark could not hold off the late kick from Matt Bostock.
Eliminated in the second-to-last sprint, Bostock did not have the legs to compete with Anders Fynbo and Marc Hester and had to settle for third. A battle between Danes decided the final placings. Level with half a lap to go, Hester expertly powered away from the younger Dane to seal a decisive elimination win. Hester left Fynbo with no chance to respond such was his strength.
Looking ahead to the final race, Hester commented, ‘it’s all about this last Points Race. It’s nice to go in with a lead but if the legs are not there for the last event, then the first five ones don’t really count! I will do my best and hopefully if I can get some points collected and stay safe quite early.’
Filip Prokopyszyn responded well to a challenging first Virtual Series by taking the initial sprint of the race. Taking inspiration from Prokopyszyn, Arne Birkemose went off the front to easily grab the second sprint. Both riders added five points directly to their totals.
German Six Day regular, Max Beyer, won a well-timed dash to secure the third sprint. The black jersey bested Fynbo and Hester to keep himself in second place in the overall standings. At the other end of the table, Prokopyszyn found himself in trouble with 13 laps to go and lost a lap to the rest the field.
Fynbo showed impressive strength to pull ahead of both Bostock and Hester to take his first sprint. Fynbo was the fourth different rider to take five points in as many sprints. With just two sprints remaining, Hester had a commanding lead over the field of 22 points. However, the Dane continued his dominance by taking the penultimate sprint, coming over the top of Fynbo at the last.
As the riders entered the last lap, it was a two-horse race to take the double points on offer. Riding side-by-side into the to home straight, it looked to be Bostock that would take the ten points. However, as was consistent with previous results, Hester showed his endurance to clinch it at the death, nipping in front just in time.
On his third time of trying, Marc Hester sealed his first Six Day Virtual Series win in emphatic fashion. Powering past his rivals, Hester managed victories in five out of six races and rounding off his dominance with an excellent Points Final.
Speaking to Rebecca Charlton, Hester commented, ‘Matt, he really tried to put some attacks in and was looking for that lap I was afraid he would take. I just marked him whenever I saw him move. The last five laps he really, really went at it. I came out on the good side and I’m super happy!’
Newcomer to the virtual world Anders Fynbo who finished in second place also reflected on his first virtual competition. ‘I think, my first feeling was that it was super hard! The first race was probably the hardest one and underestimated just how hard this would get, so that was a shock to the system! Otherwise, I think I learnt the timing a bit more for every race, especially the sprints. I really tried, especially in the last race, to wait as long as possible and then really just push with what I had. It turned out quite well I think!’
The final General Classification standings!