January 28/01 1:19 am - Berlin Six-Day (Day 4)
Posted by Editor on 01/28/01
Berlin Amateur Six-Day - Day 4
By Kris Westwood
Today's racing wasn't "night 4", rather "day 4" because it was a morning program. Sunday is family day in Berlin, so the track was full of juvenile spectators blowing madly on the whistles handed out at the entrance and waving balloons while their parents sucked back cheap German beer and chain-smoked. We had to get up early after racing last evening, which is never much fun but with three days' high-speed racing in their legs, Glen Rendall and Alex Cloutier found it even less enjoyable.
The program for today was a little shorter than the last two nights, but no less strenuous. The first event was an elimination race, with all 33 remaining riders on the track. Alex had very sore legs, so he chose to save energy by riding through gaps until his luck ran out. He lasted about a third of the way through the race. It was then Glen's turn to tail-gun, which he did in style. He rode a slightly bigger gear than normal so that he could ride at the back and then box in and sprint around the last rider on each elimination lap. This worked like a charm, although one German rider, who had been muscling his way around the pack the whole race, decided to throw his shoulder into Glen to push him out of the way. The German's plan backfired (see attached photo), and he ended up sliding down the track on his backside. This was the second of three crashes in the race. The next one was nasty and appeared to result in a broken collar-bone for the unfortunate rider who crossed wheels. Glen was behind this one and just dodged it. In the end he finished second behind Marc Altmann and could have won if he hadn't waited a little too long before sprinting.
Between races you could have mistaken Alex for a zombie, as he stared blankly at the wall. Track-rash doesn't promote restful sleep, and two bad nights of sleep are taking their toll. Once the 50-minute madison started, however, he perked up and rode an excellent race. Glen and Alex followed every significant move, except for a brilliant solo effort by Schlegel/Bach (German national team) which gained them a lap and the stage win. In the final sprint our lads didn't quite get into the right position and ended up just out of the points.
The lost hours of rest overnight are now compensated by an extra-long recovery period before Monday night's racing. It is also a relatively short day: a 20-lap tempo race followed by a 40-minute madison. The fatigue is really beginning to tell on a lot of the other teams, so things are looking good.
Glen and Alex's results up to night 3 (day 4 not yet available):
Night 1 race 1: 15th
Night 1 race 2: 9th
Night 2 race 1:10th
Night 2 race 2: 12th
Night 3 race 1: 8th
Night 3 race 2: 6th
Overall rank: 11th (should be higher after today's results
Overall leader after night 3: Ronny Buchholz/Christian Klein (GER)