A ding dong battle in the night’s final Madison helped put some shape into the general classification after two nights at the London Six Day.
The 45 minute race saw the Dutch pair of Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga working with German duo Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt to put Australians Leigh Howard and Kelland O’Brien on the back foot.
The Dutch and Germans took laps from their Australian rivals when they could, and while all three teams eventually finished on the same lap in that race, the battle ensured there is now daylight at the top of the leaderboard.
Havik and Stroetinga lead Madison world champions Kluge and Reinhardt by just one point, while the Australians are a further three points down.
Having started the night third overall, Brits Chris Latham and Andy Tennant were close to improving that position, but lost out in that Madison, eventually slipping to sixth place, on the same lap as the leaders, but 34 points down.
How it happened
The Derny race was a thrilling way to open the night, a number of riders attacking at various stages in the 40 lap race, including Latham. However, it was Belgian Otto Vergaerde who eventually took the win and maximum points.
Flushed with that success Vergaerde and team mate Jules Hesters took a lap early in the first Madison, moving them briefly into provisional second overall. But as the race heated up they were overhauled, with British pairing Latham and Tennant among seven teams who also took early laps.
However, Austrians Andreas Graf and Andreas Müller managed to take a second lap, winning the race convincingly, moving themselves into the top five overall. After flying under the radar, second place was enough to move Australians Howard and O’Brien to the top of the leaderboard setting up an intriguing evening.
Danes Marc Hester and Jesper Mørkøv had won Tuesday’s Team Elimination and led overnight. they even started the Wednesday’s Elimination sitting second overall but early exclusion saw them slip further down the general classification, allowing Dutchmen Havik and Stroetinga to take the honours ahead of the Australians.
The Points race brought the night’s first British success, an intelligent ride from 19 year-old Joe Nally bagging the win after he featured in all but the first of the race’s sprints. He and partner Fred Wright rode well all night, apparently gaining confidence with each race and were less than ten laps from winning the final Madison.
A brilliant Derny race saw a patient ride from Jon Dibben, who finished second despite still recovering from finishing the Tour of Gaungxi on Sunday. It was Kluge who won, taking his first win of the event so far and moving within striking distance of the overall lead. Meanwhile Yoeri Havik’s third place saw he and Stroetinga take the overall lead going into the Madison.
That event was thrilling, and while the general classification protagonists fought their own battle, Poles Wojciech Pszczolarski Daniel Staniszewski were close to sneaking a win. It was Kluge and Reinhardt whose race craft showed in the end though, sneaking a late lap and gaining sprint points to take their second consecutive race victory.
As he did on night one, German Robert Förstemann proved the unstoppable sprinter, riding his 200m TT at 70.45kph to qualify first. Alex Spratt made up for Tuesday’s close shave by winning the third place final, while a tactical final race saw Max Levy beat compatriot Förstemann, though the latter continues to lead the overall.
Phynova London Six Day – Standings after day two
1. Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga (Netherlands) 0 laps 160 Points
2. Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt (Germany) 0 laps 159 points
3. Leigh Howard and Kelland O’Brien (Aus) 0 laps 156 points
4. Marc Hester and Jesper Mørkøv (Den) 0 laps 134 points
5. Wojciech Pszczolarski Daniel Staniszewski (Pol) 0 laps 133 points
6. Chris Latham and Andy Tennant (Gbr) 0 laps 126 points
7. Jules Hesters and Otto Vergaerde (Bel) -1 lap 126 points
8. Andreas Graf and Andreas Müller (Aut) -1 lap 79 points
9. Nick Stöpler and Melvin Van Zijl (Ned) -2 laps 99 points
10. Henning Bommel and Kersten Thiele (Ger) -5 laps 73 points