One of the more intriguing parts of watching the six-day race was watching the motor pacing.
It’s an art that has pretty much all but died out. Except here in Germany.
The concept is simple, ride behind a motorcycle for the requisite amount of laps, working in concert with the motorcycle driver to keep a manageable pace.
Meaning 65kph/40mph. Covering 25km (15mi) in about 35 minutes.
On a bicycle.
These guys are pushing some massive, massive gears.
For the bike geeks out there, the frame starts out as a standard track bike, but they turn the fork around so that there’s negative rake (so they can get closer to the motorcycle), then swap out the 700c front wheel for a 600c (same reason). Due to the forces generated, the chainring is beefed up significantly and a support system is built to support the stem so that the handlebars don’t snap off during the race.
It’s all quite impressive.
For a good read on the bike technology, click here.
Speaking of impressive, the last three laps had the top three riders (and their motorcycles) going three-wide into the turns and along the straightaways. At a clip a fair bit quicker than 40mph.
To get a feel for it, here is the 1993 World Championships, the second-to-last time that this event was held at that level.
Luckily we did not see any crashes last night. The velodrome was concrete.