World Champions prevail in Munich

Risi and Marvulli

Risi and Marvulli (Image credit: Birke Ulrich)

By Laura Weislo

The Munich Six Day ended in a dramatic fashion on Tuesday night, with home favourites Erik Zabel and Leif Lampater battling to regain the lead from the reigning Madison World Champions, Bruno Risi and Franco Marvulli. The Swiss pair took over the lead on night five when, in the night's first Madison, they gained a lap on the German pair and the overall lead on points.

Risi and Marvulli, winners of the Dortmund Six Day, had taken the early lead on night one, but played the following nights cool - always leading by points but waiting for a prime opportunity to steal back a lap that Zabel and Lampater had gained on night two.

By the end of night five, Risi and Marvulli had pulled themselves onto the same lap as Zabel and Lampater, and led by 19 points, setting up a thrilling final evening in the Olympiahalle in Munich. In the last Madison of the event, Zabel and Lampater went on the attack just laps before the finish. Despite an initial half lap lead, Risi and Marvulli were able to prevent the pair from lapping the field, and eventually pulled the pair back on the final lap, setting up a tight sprint finish. Risi won the race by centimetres, giving the pair their second Six Day win of the season.

Amsterdam Six Day winners Iljo Keisse and Robert Bartko were overtaken for third place on the final night by the resurgent Dutch pair of Robert Slippens and Danny Stam. The Six Day crew will now head to Belgium for the Zesdaagse Van Vlaanderen-Gent beginning November 20.

In the excitement of the final night, Alex Rasmussen and Michael Morkov also broke the flying lap record with a time of 10.18 seconds, besting that of Marty Nothstein (10.22).

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