Monday, May 20, 2024

Copenhagen Six Day 2014 Snapshots


HomeDiariesCopenhagen Six Day 2014 Snapshots

The Copenhagen Six Day follows straight after Berlin; the trip isn’t fun – load the camper after the midnight finish in Berlin, drive through the night to the ferry at Rostock, sleep in the camper for an hour or two at temperatures well below zero, hop the ferry across the Baltic, then drive up through Denmark to Copenhagen through the snow and wind.

Copenhagen Six Day
We passed this church somewhere on the way – sombre but beautiful. Photo©Ed Hood

The last of the ‘old guard’ – and still a beast of a boy, Big Bob Bartko was very impressive, maybe not as quick as he once was but still so strong and smooth.

Copenhagen Six Day
Big Bob Bartko. Photo©Ed Hood

One night Daniel Holloway had a debate about what was worse; being shouted at by The Terminator or when he gives you, ‘the look,’ says nothing, shakes his head and just rides on.

Daniel reckoned ‘the look’ was the worst.

Copenhagen Six Day
Marcel Kalz. Photo©Ed Hood

When Big Bob won in Berlin a year or two ago he rode with Roger Kluge; they were so smooth and powerful – a veritable ‘Terminator Tandem.’

Marcel Kalz isn’t as smooth as Kluge; but he’s just as big, strong and very fast – all but unbeatable in the flying lap.

Copenhagen Six Day
Getting the decals affixed. Photo©Ed Hood

Daniel Holloway’s designer chum came up with a new ‘Corporate id’ for ‘Hollywood’ – and next thing the vinyl guy had arrived …

Copenhagen Six Day
Guy East. Photo©Ed Hood

There aren’t many cyclists who a pro team offers a contract to and tells the rider they can pick and choose where and when they race – but Guy East was made that very offer by top US team, Kelly Benefits.

But Guy politely declined, there’s more to his life than just racing a bike – like providing housing for less privileged families in Mexico.

And using elite athletes to help do the work – reminding them that not everyone has a soigneur.

Copenhagen Six Day
Alex Rasmussen. Photo©Ed Hood

He’s looking lean and looking forward to the Cali Worlds team pursuit – Denmark were well inside four minutes in the Aguascalientes World Cup.

It could well GB and Australia in the final and Danska for bronze?

Alex is still laid back, unaffected by fame and moving on from the dud hand the UCI dealt him – one of the ‘good guys.’

Copenhagen Six Day
Dan plays with the band. Photo©Ed Hood

Whilst the sounds from the PA are good at Copenhagen – the best of Disco and Europop – the live music is without exception, evil.

However, or boy Daniel enjoyed his stint with them.

Copenhagen Six Day
Marc Hester. Photo©Ed Hood

The end of a hard day at the office, well past midnight; but when the TV comes to call you have to give of your time and a smile – not something that always comes easily to Marc Hester.

A winner here with Iljo Keisse in 2012, he rides the Par nr. 9 jersey – the second string Danish team – with the famous Par nr. 7 reserved for Mørkøv/Rasmussen.

Way back it was Hester/Mørkøv burning up the U23 boards – ‘til Alex came along, that is.

Copenhagen Six Day
Vivien Brisse. Photo©Ed Hood

Fast, very French, laid back and Champion du Monde – can’t be bad.

But I had the feeling this winter had been long enough for Vivien Brisse by the time he arrived in Ballerup.

Copenhagen Six Day
Michael Mørkøv. Photo©Ed Hood

MM didn’t have the spring he would have liked – but the Danish Elite Road Title, a Vuelta stage win and the podium of Paris-Tours made it a very good year for the man with the whippet build and speed to match.

For me, he’s the smoothest, fastest man on the track when the chips are really down in a chase.

Copenhagen Six Day
Our boys, the yanks. Photo©Ed Hood

The ‘madison’ format for six days came from the USA – two man teams originated in New York State in 1898 to circumvent legislation which forbade a rider to race for more than 12 hours each day.

So it’s good to see the stars and stripes back in the mix with Guy and Daniel.

Very different young men but both extremely likeable in their own ways – I hope it won’t be the last time I work with them.

Copenhagen Six Day
Call the Cops! Photo©Ed Hood

Michael Sandstød, the race organiser loves nonsense and the more outlandish the better.

So when Daniel and real life German police officer – and man who does so much to support the German sun bed industry – Marcel Barth suggested they ride the ‘balustrade’ sprint in these Tasmanian Police outfits and rip them off during the race, Michael wasn’t going to say; ‘no.’

Quite mad.

Copenhagen Six Day
The Balustrade Sprint is on the programme as a race, but it isn’t, really. Photo©Ed Hood

Dario G pumps, the string tracks the fence, hands off, the crowd is on it’s feet, clapping, cheering – call me ‘sad’ but no matter how many times I experience it, I still love it.

Copenhagen Six Day
Dan ‘Hollywood’ takes the flowers. Photo©Ed Hood

And at the end it was Daniel who won, he gets a kiss from the little cutie, a hand shake from former Danish star Tayeb Braikia and a lap of honour on the city bike – he did mention riding the last chase on it, but…

Copenhagen Six Day
Matthias Krigbaum. Photo©Ed Hood

One of the next generation of Danish flyers.

He’s entitled to wear the rainbow jersey as World Junior Madison Champion – but he was also European Junior Time Trial Champion in 2012 and runner up in the Junior Worlds TT, last year in Florence.

Fun to be around and no trace of ego – don’t change Matthias, please.

Copenhagen Six Day
The final podium. Photo©Ed Hood

Runners have to sneak their shots from the side; those charming and friendly pro photogs need to be in front – them being the most important folk at the race and all…

Michael’s smiling but you just know he’s thinking; ‘wait ‘til next year!’

Copenhagen Six Day
The scoreboard tells the story. Photo©Ed Hood

The speaker had actually announced Morkov/Rasmussen having made the junction to take the lap and the race win – but they hadn’t and the big score board told it’s silent story to confirm the podium.

The UCI rule is that the junction has to be made before the bell…

Copenhagen Six Day
Christiania. Photo©Ed Hood

Rather than the usual stunned lurch to the plane we had a wee bit of time in beautiful Copenhagen, the day after the race.

I’d heard so much about Chrisiania (or Freetown) and I finally got to see it.

The best description is a commune, located in old military installations within the city; but it’s not just about hippies smoking dope – although there is that aspect.

It’s more about people who want to live their own life without too much state interference.

Artists, recyclers, sculptors, writers, with nice places to eat and drink and even a bike building workshop, all with a good friendly vibe – if you ignore the scary guys in mirrored shades and camouflage pants, that is.