Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Copenhagen Six Day 2012 – Day Five


HomeDiariesCopenhagen Six Day 2012 - Day Five

It’s another big Madison tonight here at the Copenhagen Six Day 2012; 75 kilometres/300 laps, but with a ‘twist’ — it’s a handicap. Bartko/Lampater, Stam/Stroetinga and Alex/Michael give away six laps to Jackie/Schröder — with the rest of the field somewhere in between.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Franco familiarises himself with the event schedule.

The final laps count for the overall so there’s no messing; if a big team doesn’t pull the laps back then they’re lost.

Really, all that goes before the handicap is just to whet the appetite — there are a lot of nervous cyclists in the cabins.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Alex Aeschbach catches up with what’s happening on VeloVeritas.

We’re on a ‘zero tolerance’ policy tonight — no mistakes, no riders left to make their own way off the track, nothing left in the drier – and lids properly on bottles.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Shane hides in the Derny’s slipstream.

The sprints follow the rolling presentation, Shane takes one of the sprints, winning a swag basket; but then, in the one lap TT he gets pipped — damn!

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Shane shows off his spoils.

Then it’s the Ballerup Grand Prix, knock-out match sprinting for the Six Day riders; Alex makes a point of making it look easy against Franco — he’s a cheeky monkey.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Alex is a great sprinter amongst the endurance riders.

Danny Clark comes to call and gives Jackie some advice about how to ride the handicap — when Danny talks about how to ride a Madison then it’s good policy to listen.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Danny advises Jackie on how to ride the handicap.

We have other visitors, Six Day man from my boyhood, Jack Simes (read our recent Interview with him) – Jackie’s dad – and Danish former double Junior World Champion and GP E3 winner, Søren Lilholt.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Jack, Soren and Danny.

Time for the presentation of Jesper’s new team — it’s organised by former professional Michael Sandstød who will be taking over as Copenhagen Six Day organiser for the 2013 edition of the race.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Jesper’s new squad.
Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Michael Sandstod will share the job with former Copenhagen Six Day winner Jimmi Madsen.

Both men have strong palmarès; Sandstød won the Four Days of Dunkerque, the GP Herning, the Tour of Picardie and the Danish Elite Time Trial and Road Championships during his career.

Madsen rode the Giro, won multiple Danish Track Championships, the European Madison title, nine Six Day races and ranks fourth in the all time list of Danish Six Day riders behind Palle Lykke, Gert Frank and Jens Veggerby.

Jesper raced in France last season with CC Bonnat near Paris but received an offer to ride for Sandstød and will be able to enjoy his mum’s cooking in 2012, riding a Danish based programme.

Derny madison next, when we tell Shane that there’s no changes after ten laps to go he replies; ‘but isn’t that exactly when you’d need one?

It’s hard to argue with that.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Martyn rubs Alex.

In Zaire’ by Johnny Wakelin – which is about the ‘Rumble in The Jungle’ boxing match – kicks off the Derny; Johnny wasn’t the most diverse songster, his other hit was ‘Muhammad Ali, The Black Superman’. Jesper and Franco win the Derny.

We get a double helping of Ole Steens tonight — 50’s and 60’s rock n’ roll, Danish style…

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Par No.7
Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Alex gets going.

And then it’s time.

The board clicks round to 300, ‘Cara Mia’ thumps from the PA and the attacks start early.

For a ‘little’ team to win this they have to go with the moves which they can handle, if they sit in the peloton their laps will melt away like ‘snaw aff a dyke’ as we say in Scotland.

Kiss, Whigfield, Chris Montez, all good Madison grooves — Kris wanders over to tell me that he reckons he’s spent 150 days of his life standing beside tracks with feeding bottles.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
A tired looking Mertens leads.

Half distance passes, it’s a toughie, guys are wasted already, at 142 to go Aeschbach and Ranneries join Jackie and Schröder on the zero lap.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Seb Lander leads Alex Aeschbach.

Tim Mertens slogs the laps out; Michael floats around the boards as if he’s on a monorail.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
‘Monorail’ Michael.

At 121 to go, Grasmann/Norman joins the leaders — possible winners?

Christian is strong and Norman is the home boy.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Aeschbach launched in to action by Ranneries

Bengsch/Kalz make it four on zero at 114 to go and it stays that way as 100 to go comes and goes on the lap board.

Leon Van Bon waves Michael Smith Larsen away from his spell, the Dutchman can see that his Danish partner is suffering.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Leon Van Bon was very focused, and strong too.

There’s needle between Michael/Alex and Keisse/Hester; Marc matches Michael blow for blow, but his face tells the story of the toll it’s taking on him.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Iljo gets thrown in by Marc as things heat up.
Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Alex wants to win at his home Six.

With 78 to go it’s Bengsch/Kalz on zero and looking strong.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Kalz and Bengsch.

Shane is hurting, really hurting; he’s down for drinks almost every time he’s ‘resting.’

This isn’t nice!’ he shouts to us — aye, we can see that, Shane.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Copenhagen Six, Shane leads Franco Marvulli.

Inside 50, Michael looks as smooth as silk, he understands that this is a psychological as well as a physical game, if you’re looking for signs of weakness in Michael, you’ll wait a long time.

With 24 to go it’s looking decidedly tough out there, even experienced hands like Andreas Müller have heaving chests.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Andreas working hard at Copenhagen last year.

Inside 25 and it looks like the Ivan Drago (aka Robert Bengsch) and sidekick Kalz are going to win, no one has the motivation or the legs to make a move.

Copenhagen Six Day 2012
Robert Bengsch at speed.

Bang!:  It’s over.

Shane slumps in the cabin and glugs water like a man who’s been found wandering in the Kalahari, too wasted to think about changing his jersey.

And we heard later that Michael Smith Larsen passed out in the cabin and had to h