Six Day races fading in Germany
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Six Day races fading in Germany

by VeloNation Press at 10:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
 
German Six Day racing has been hit hard in recent times with one of its oldest races, the Dortmund Six Day, announcing earlier this year that it would be cancelled due to financial problems. The race that was scheduled for October 29-November 3 had a 300,000 euro shortfall in its budget.

At the time Westfalenhallen velodrome director Jochen Meschke said it was a difficult decision, telling dpa, "We hoped to lessen the financial shortfall, but the difference was too great."

Rewind to 2008, and the Stuttgart Six Day folded because of issues with securing sponsorship due to the ongoing doping problems present in the sport. Race organizer Andreas Kroll told the Associated Press, "professional cycling has an enormous image problem that we simply cannot offset at this point in time," citing German rider Stefan Schumacher, who tested positive for CERA when his blood samples from the 2008 Tour de France were retroactively tested.

Two days ago to the 46th edition of the Six Days of Munich began, and with crowds on the light side, this year's event is in danger of being the last. According to wielerflits.nl, if the visitors to the event falls below 64,000, which is very likely at this point, the event will also be removed from the calendar. That would leave Germany with just two Six Day races for the 2010/11 season, Bremen and Berlin.

As the UCI's biological passport program helps the fight against doping gain momentum, the countries hit hardest by doping scandals, like Germany, will take notice of the positive change being made in the sport. The progress made toward cleaning up cycling will hopefully result in an upswing in popularity, and help keep races like the Six Days of Munich on the calendar.
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