It’s Monday morning at the Copenhagen Six Day 2011, I’ve folded the clothing, tidied the cabin, swept the floor, cleaned the flasks, blah, blah, blah…
The wi-fi has decided to visit the cabin and Tommy Hunt is ‘Loving on The Losing Side‘ from the laptop – it’s hard to be ‘down’ when the ‘Northern’ is banging out.
The weekend was a bit of a blur; Saturday was a split session – nitemare!
Sunday started early and finished early; ‘deep joy’ for boys like me – that’s until two of your guys get picked for ‘control,’ can’t pee and you have to wait two hours for them.
A nice evening with a bit of time to get caught up with the writing disappears before your eyes.
Still, all they could make for us at the restaurant when we eventually arrived was pizza; that was just fine.
And Martin bought me a â‚¬200 beer – well, not quite, but it would be expensive to be a drinking man in Copenhagen.
The chat was good too, with Martin, Colby and Jesper.
Saturday afternoon was the first time this year I’ve been trackside when they’ve played ‘Copenhagen’ to open the session – it’s a tacky wee tune but I love it; ‘Copenhagen, south of Sweden…‘
The afternoon session is largely for the kids, they get the chance to meet the stars and get jerseys autographed.
Alex is hugely popular with the young (and not so young) ladies who swoon around him.
Race-wise there wasn’t much to report; and all the shorts have to washed – again.
Saturday evening saw the house a bit fuller and we were immediately treated to a rare bit of Big Bob Bartko humour – he won a backpack in one of the sprints and wore it for the rest of the series.
The local sprinters were up on the boards, last year we had them every night – way too much.
One of the lads makes me look skinny but is reasonably quick; if they can get him on a diet then he’d be a prospect – maybe?
One of the best events on the programme is the flying lap, the music is great, the crowd loves it and rapid Suisse Tristan Marquet has made it his own, four straight wins.
Jens-Erik and Marc Hester have been running them close but Tristan is seriously quick and Andreas Muller is solid as a rock when it comes to the wind-up and sling.
I must be slipping because I’ve ended pushing off in every Derny.
Ex-pro and Merckx right hand man ‘back in the day,’ Julien Stevens was pushing off the first rider and for some reason decide to make a run for it with the Dernys still half a lap away, the rider was trying to kick back but Stevens kept pushing as the mechanics roared with mirth – some of them don’t get out much.
I interviewed Marc Hester as that race droned around us, he’s signed with Michael Rasmussen’s team for 2011 – Christina Watches.
Marc won the UIV cup – the Under 23 season long six day competition – with Michael Morkov in 2005.
That was touted as the ‘next big team’ but Michael paired up with Alex – ‘and the rest is history.’
Marc is only 25 but has ridden nearly 60 six days – he’s always been a solid performer but this winter, paired with Jens-Erik Madsen he’s knocking hard on the door with podiums in Grenoble and Bremen.
And if it wasn’t for him and Jens-Erik, this wouldn’t be much of a race.
Jens is a cool guy, it takes a while (maybe three seasons) to get to know him, but once you do he has a wicked sense of humour and is good fun.
On the bike, he looks the part, streamlined, fast, efficient – if he was Aussie and had a manager he’d probably have been snapped up for a lead-out train by now.
Talking of men from the Antipodes, Danny Clark doesn’t bother to take off his Derny driver clothes before he goes on stage to do a bit of singing – his voice is strong and he belts out those old Creedence Clearwater Revival hits just fine.
He’s still in good shape, he runs here every morning and trains on the track behind the Derny.
He actually looks healthier than he did back in the 70’s – don’t forget that as a teenager he took a pursuit silver medal behind Ian Hallam at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.
I ended up pushing off big German Robert Bengsch in the Derny – he’s not a laugh a minute is Rab; ‘with power!‘ he helpfully explained regarding the push he wanted.
He’s not the sort of boy to argue with so I put him in ten lengths clear of the next rider.
The ballustrade sprint is always cool, but like Dirk said; ‘after this event in Gent, we all go home to bed – here, the race just starts!‘
He has a point.
The closing madison wasn’t a classic, like Kris says; ‘it isn’t the old days, back then it was cheaper to buy tickets for the race than it was to buy a bag of coal so you could sit in the house!‘
Tickets are expensive and it’s a long way from central Copenhagen to Ballerup, if the weather is bad it’s a thought to take the train out here.
Michael and Alex took two laps on the trot; that was certainly worth watching, my fave Bob Sinclar track banged out of the PA and watching the drunks try to get up and down the stairs was fun – not a bad night.
Sunday saw a much better crowd and a decent 40 minute madison to close; thank goodness – and Franco reappeared.
He’s taking a break after here, I think that’ll be good for him – he’s always travelling, always racing.
It takes it’s toll.