Wednesday morning in the camper van, long straights of grey motorway tarmac through a flat, snow blanketed landscape, minus three, no sunshine, just more grey above us; in all the times I’ve worked at the Copenhagen Six Day 2010 Six, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the sun.
The boys did it, I didn’t think they would, but they did – it was wonderful to be a part of it.
Last year was a bigger ‘high’ because it was their first win at home and Gent was probably one of the best weeks of my life.
But last night was cool; to have the World Champions wrap their arms round you and hug you – that’s special.
The sixth day is always an uneasy one, the final chase is on everyone’s mind – but nobody mentions it.
Patrick Sercu appeared; he’s still the ‘Mr. Big’ on the circuit and to cross him would be extremely unwise.
The racing started and Franco grabbed the mega vino, in the sprint series – again; Bjarne Riis was back to see his two dashing young stars and I got to meet one of my heroes.
I’d never have recognised him but Kris did – Ole Ritter.
Worlds medallist on road and track, top ten Giro finisher, Six Day man (3 wins), World Hour Record Holder (it took Merckx to beat it) and the chrono man supreme – no one ever looked better on a time trial bike than Ole Ritter.
Fellow Scot and long time Six Day fan, John Young arrived to shoot the last day, fully credded up as a photog, looking the part and getting in the thick of the action – it’s some of his shots you’re seeing on today’s diary.
The VIP’s and media were everywhere – a thing that folks don’t realise is that for a top home team like Alex and Michael, the demands of press, radio and TV are a major stress generator.
It’s difficult to imagine a constant stream of microphone totting individuals being allowed into the Manchester United dressing room, just before the Champions League final.
Alex and Michael take it all in their stride, polite, smiling and always accommodating of photo and interview requests – real pros.
The evening wore on, Danny Clark sang, ‘Proud Mary, and ‘My Way‘, he was telling me that he practices with his karaoke machine for an hour or two, every day
Bruno won the derny, then it was time for his goodbye – this one wasn’t as schmaltzy as Gent; ‘he can still kick all our asses!‘ said Michael in a nice little speech.
Bruno’s old partner, Kurt Betschart was there; they sprung him on Bruno, ‘This is Your Life’ style.
‘We’ve had good fights, big fights, but fair fights,‘ said Bruno – well…
Hollywood was on top form for the balustrade sprint, pulling his jersey up over his head and taking a bow at the end – it sounds corny, but when you’re there, with the crowd and the music, it’s special.
The big chase, and we were all nervous, riders and helpers alike – except Franco; he chomped on wine gums, leaned on the cabin and thought about his day in Prague on Wednesday.
Seconds before the start, mics were still being thrust into our boys faces – the answers were calm and considered.