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Camenzind leading in Zurich six-day

Switzerland's Oscar Camenzind, plus his Australian and Belgian teammates Scott McGrory and Matthew Gilmore, are leading the six-day cycling race in Zurich. The results after two days of racing placed them first with 127 points.

The all-Swiss trio of Bruno Risi, Kurt Betschart and Markus Zberg were second with 124.

The indoor event began on Monday and ends on Saturday. Enthusiasts are hoping the excitement on the track will help revive the fortunes of one of cycling's lesser-known events.

As recently as the 1997/98 season there were 17 races in the international six-day calendar. But the number has now shrunk to just eight.

The 48 year-old Zurich event is to lose its wooden track at the city's Hallenstadion when it is renovated in 2002, and promoters are looking for solutions. Ideas include building a temporary track that can be dismantled.

One of six-day racing's problems is that unlike high-profile road racing, its fan-base the preserve of only the most hardened enthusiasts. Riders competing in teams race around the indoor velodrome for six successive evening, in a variety of separate events.

The main events are known as Madison sessions, laps interspersed with sprints. Teams win points in the sprints or by gaining laps on the other riders.

To spice up the event, the Zurich organisers have expanded the traditional team of two to three, bringing together two track experts and a road racer. They hope that the presence of the better-known road racers will increase public interest.

swissinfo with agencies


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