Zurich bids farewell to Risi
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Zurich bids farewell to Risi

by Bjorn Haake at 9:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track

Track rider Bruno Risi calls it quits after 18 years as a professional and the crowd gave him en emotional good-bye yesterday in the next to last night of the Zurich Six Days. Risi's career started in 1991 and if he wins Zurich with partner Franco Marvulli he can make it a record 60 Six Days wins.

Risi was quite amazed at the farewell. "I am not that emotional of a person and I don't get teary-eyed quickly, but what happened tonight was amazing," he said on Swiss television. "This was such an hearty good-bye, I was really quite overwhelmed."

To his partner Marvulli it was quite clear why Risi wins so often. " He has the desire to be successful. He puts goals out for himself and then pursues them vigorously."

Urs Freuler, former professional on the road and member of the organizing team of the Zurich Six Days, also praised Risi. "He is still a great rider. I have to say 'is' not 'was' as he still has to finish the race here on Sunday and he will even have to finish the Six Days season. He is one of the best Six Days racers in the World and it's a pity he is stopping."

Risi had a lot of time to think about his post career. "I had planned to quit this season for two and a half years. I am really looking forward to have more time for my family, with my three little children."

Going into the final day in Zurich, he and partner Marvulli have their work out. They lead with a slim margin of 18 points over Germans Leif Lampater and Christian Grasmann. In third place Alexander Aeschbach and Tristan Marguet are one lap behind and trail by 38 points.

Risi's current tally is 59 Six Day wins. He also was World Champion in the points race in 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999 and 2001. He won the Madison at the 1995 and 2006 World Championships and European Championships

With his long time partner Kurt Betschart he set a world record of 37 Six Day wins. He also received a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens in the Madison. He also won nine Wold Cup races.

With all these successes it almost seems unnecessary to mention that he was Swiss champion 20 times.


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