Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Amsterdam Six Day 2014 – Part Two; a Race and Rider Review


HomeDiariesAmsterdam Six Day 2014 - Part Two; a Race and Rider Review

Kris maybe summed it up best; ‘it felt like a Monday night at any another Six Day.’

There was none of the tension or expectation which usually precedes the final chase in a Six.

Granted, we weren’t looking after riders who were in the mix for the win but it was indeed, ‘just another chase.’

Maybe it was because it was clear from the start that Terpstra was the strongest man on the track and there was only going to be one winner.

Amsterdam Six Day
Terpstra warms up. Photo©Ed Hood

But Terpstra seemed to me to be taking no chances, he went in to the last chase on the zero lap with two teams challenging at one lap and that status quo was never challenged.

We kept waiting for the De Buyst/Ligthart lap gain to set it up for the last gasp Terpstra/Havik counter move – it never came.

I felt Terpstra was worried he may get ‘flicked’ and clung on to that lap; sensible for him – but a Six is meant to be theatre.

Amsterdam Six Day
Eurosport’s Carltom Kirby. Photo©Ed Hood

But there was no climactic closing scene to this play albeit opinions were divided on whether it was good TV or not – universal opinion, though was that Carlton wasn’t the man for the job but co-commentator Tony Doyle ‘done good.’

Amsterdam Six Day
Jasper De Buyst. Photo©Ed Hood

Terpstra was easily strongest but Lampater was also showing signs of real form whilst De Buyst wasn’t as spectacular as last winter.

But he’s young and coming off his first road season with Topsport then a ten day rest prior to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Six Day
Jasper down. Photo©Ed Hood

He crashed on Friday night but just got straight back up and got on with it – it’s still a macho world in the Sixes.

Amsterdam Six Day
Well, you’d know if it was yours, we suppose. Photo©Ed Hood

Albeit if you check out Jasper’s soigneur, Tino’s bottles you may have doubts.

Amsterdam Six Day
Drinks here. Photo©Ed Hood

And to digress for a moment, if you wanted a serious drink then it was hard to miss the bar at this six.

Jasper has announced he wants to win in Gent and will probably ride with Kenny De Ketele – so Iljo and Cav won’t have it all their own way.

Havik and Stöpler weren’t as strong as their respective partners – but then not many are; Terpstra has won one of the biggest races on the planet in Paris-Roubaix and that speaks for itself.

Amsterdam Six Day
Pim Ligthart. Photo©Ed Hood
Amsterdam Six Day
Leif Lampater. Photo©Ed Hood

Ligthart was good – strong and consistent but lacking the flashes of pure speed that Terpstra and Lampater displayed.

But it wasn’t a bad old week for the former Netherlands champion who filled our TV screens on many Vuelta stages – Lotto re-signed him for another two seasons.

Amsterdam Six Day
Guy East. Photo©Ed Hood
Amsterdam Six Day
Dan “Hollywood”. Photo©Ed Hood

Daniel and Guy were up against it from the start; their main problem being the fact they’re not Dutch.

Terpstra would happily let the home minnows go for and take a lap but would ruthlessly ride our boys down.

But they grabbed a win or two and were on a par with all of the other teams from sixth down.

Daniel may ride Berlin but until you have a signed contract in your hand then it’s merely conjecture.

Even then, you may ride and not get paid – as was the case here.

Last year, Robert Bartko had to take the organisers to court to get paid and it took Michael Mørkøv a year to get his fee.

De Buyst got paid though; ‘you pay me, or I go home, now!’ he told the organisation on the eve of the last chase.

Those Flandrians don’t mess around.

Amsterdam Six Day
Seb Wotschke. Photo©Ed Hood

In fifth spot was our German boy Seb Wotschke who rode a solid race with 21 year-old Czech Denis Rugovac, a young man who continues the tradition of strong East European track riders.

However, the sport isn’t in the best of health in the home land of Stybar and Kreuziger with long term team Dukla Prague – for which Denis currently rides – folding there are very few options for the likes of the Hacecky brothers and strongmen Martin Blaha and Alois Kankovsky.

Amsterdam Six Day
Nolan Hoffman (r). Photo©Ed Hood

Another man in the field who’s searching for a team for 2015 is South African, Nolan Hoffman.

Hoffman was a Worlds medallist in the scratch a year or two ago but is finding that if you don’t have current Worlds palmares then the six day organisers don’t want to know.

Amsterdam Six Day
Luke Roberts. Photo©Ed Hood

Team pursuit legend, Aussie Luke Roberts doesn’t have to worry about a contract, he’s moving into team management with the Cult Pro Continental squad – we’ll be running an interview him very soon.

Amsterdam Six Day
Marc Hester. Photo©Ed Hood
Amsterdam Six Day
Alex Rasmussen. Photo©Ed Hood

But for all the glamour of the Sixes, for many it is a job – and sometimes not the fairest; take Marc Hester, as Kris pointed out to me, he’ll ride with Alex Rasmussen all through the season but come Copenhagen, Alex will pair up with Michael Mørkøv.

With Bartko winning his last Six in the race earlier this year there are no prizes for guessing who’ll probably take the 2015 honours …

Amsterdam Six Day
Dirk packs up. Photo©Ed Hood

And in the the old days the circus would have rolled on to the next race – but now there’s a month’s wait until Gent and the next ‘race to nowhere.’

Dirk will be there and so will we – see you there?