August 16, 2004 – The results are in and after a great week of racing, Ripp’n Ronnie Sink out dueled Dave Koesel & Taylor Martin (Hamilton) for the top of the podium on the last day of the Detroit Six-Day Bicycle Race. A total of 22 riders took part over the six days of racing ( accommodating work schedules and family commitments). It was great to see and race against Frankie Andreu (ex-US Postal rider) on Friday and Saturday nights. He is still fast and can handle a bike on the track were he races two-three times a year. There were no major crashes over the week, only a couple of riders trying to go too slow on the banking including Andreu who fell on Friday night two minutes into the first Madison. He brushed himself off and continued with out a scrap or torn shorts.
Going into the last day of racing Sink lead Keosel by twelve points, an amount that could be gained during the four events which make up the day of racing. Martin was lurking in third only a handful of points behind Koesel. The teams were paired up so that all three riders hand a partner who could keep the race leaders in the hunt. Teams consisted of Sink and Ackers, Keosel and Good, and Martin and Laughton. A total of six teams were entered in Sundays race. In the first eight-lap sprint race Laughton lead out , followed by your’s truly with Ackers in fifth. It was a good start as both two-three place teams gained on the leaders. In the second sprint race, Koesel beat Sink to close the gap to seven points. Still we were in the hunt with Martins team still there.
In the first Madison, Dave and I tried to gain a lap with a hard effort in the first 15 laps although we were pulled back by the pack it set the tone for the rest the race. All three teams began watching one another, with little attacking the pace was kept high by the other teams who were racing for their final finishing positions. With ten laps to go in the first Madison, Martin jumped off the front of the group, stringing the pack behind. Sink was in and on his wheel, Koesel attacked with eight to go, with a great handling I was propelled into the lead with six to go. Back to Dave K with three to go, we won the sprint and were within five points of the leaders. That’s when the wheels came off. I was trying to time our last exchange with 300m to go, I misread the lap board and missed the last exchange which sealed our fate. (I will remember that for a long time.) Sink andMartin sailed over my cooked partner and we finished fourth in a race we should have won. Martin out dueled Sink for the win.
The second Madison was much like the first. Our team had to win and gain a lap to win the overall bike race – a very tall order to fill. As it turned out no team was going to get away. Many of the teams tried, no one was successful. In the end It came down to a sprint finish with Laughton coming over the top of Cavander, Ackers and me for a very popular win, This was Martins second win during the six-day, very promising for the 21-year-old newcomer.
All in all, it was a very successful week by the Canadians. We attacked and attacked and attacked to keep the racing hard all week. Race Promoter Dale Hughes indicated at the post race party that Taylor and I were the most aggressive riders during the Six-Day, and hoped we would continue to support his races.
The next track action happens on Friday, September 3. The Nas-Track Championship race to be televised on PBS stations across North America. Racing begins at 6:00 p.m. The event goes to air the following weekend in prime time.