‘Beauty and the Beast’ is the first entry in our Berlin Six Day 2018 scrapbook- handsome devil Denmark’s Marc Hester warms up on his rollers as the German sprinters’ mechanic waits for the next gear change job. Marc rode with Jesper Mørkøv ‘til kidney stones forced the younger Mørkøv bruv out.
Our boy Nico plays shy but Achim gives us a smile.
Nico is the son of sprint legend, Lutz Hesslich who won Sprint Gold in two Olympics, 1980 and 1988 (missing out on competing in the 1984 Games due to the Soviet-led boycott) and who has run a bike shop in Cottbus for many years.
Achim Burkhart is European Derny champion, he rode a strong race in Bremen, finishing second with experienced Dutchman Yoeri Havik.
He’s still getting some discomfort with his shoulder from when he came down in a crash in Bremen.
Equipment goes ever-more Star Wars – these are the ‘bars and stem on Darryl Perkins BT.
Leif Lampater has been around the Six Day for a long time; being paired with Erik Zabel in the Sixes early in his career did him no harm.
He’s now one of the most experienced riders on the boards and despite taking winter seasons out to work with the national squad, Berlin is his 86th start.
He has nine wins but we reckon seven were with Zabel so those top podium steps have been sparse these last few years.
That said, he’s still an impressive sight whilst in full flight on a good day.
Andreas Müller is another stalwart of the Six Day scene and has won in Berlin before.
Andreas rides for Austria but is actually German by birth – he’s sneaking up towards his 100th Six Day ride; Copenhagen will be his 98th race to nowhere.
Wojciech Pszczolarski and Daniel Staniszewski from Poland rode very strongly in Berlin; Wojciech was European Points Race Champion in 2015 and Worlds bronze medallist in the same discipline, last year.
Daniel meanwhile, is very much on the ‘up’ and has been hurting a lot of legs in this Six.
The pair ride together again in Copenhagen.
All the way from Hong Kong, Messrs. Leung Chun Lok and Cheun King Lok for this event; they won the World Cup madison in Minsk, beating Dutch Six Day regulars Roy Pieters and Wim Stroetinga into second place.
But a World Cup on 100″ + gears is not a Six on restricted gears and the lower ratio took a bit of getting used to for the ever-smiling pair.
The Australian Federation may think Shane Perkins is ‘past it’ but not the Russians who warmly welcomed his request for citizenship.
Since he ‘turned Ruski’ he’s been first in the team sprint; third in the individual Sprint and first in the keirin at the Russian Track Cycling Championships as well as second in the keirin at the European Championships.
He wasn’t ‘on fire’ in the sprint tournament here but will be training hard for the Worlds.
‘Danish Dynamite’ the announcer at Bremen called them – Marc Hester & Jesper Mørkøv – but Jesper had to leave the Berlin race because of kidney stones.
The worst pain he’s experienced in his life, he told us – but he’s back for his home race in Copenhagen where he rides with Spaniard Sebastian Mora.
Wim Stroetinga has been around the boards for a long time, he was World Junior Scratch Champion in 2002, had a spell on the World Tour with Milram; has won multiple Dutch championships on the track, stages in races like the Olympia Tour and ZLM Tour as well as the UCI 1.1 Putte Kapellen.
He’s smoothed his style out, he used to be ‘all over the bike’ but now is much smoother – but still damn quick.
Big Rodge Kluge, seen here looking rather pleased with himself after blasting the 500 metre TT. Kluge is a man of many talents; a multiple national, European and Worlds medallist, he also has an Olympic silver in the points race – and a Giro stage win to his credit.
And apart from anything else, he looks the part, immaculate, big, strong, stylish, every inch a ‘vedette.’
The HK boys have the niceties of Derny racing explained to them – ‘no boys, you see, the fastest guy doesn’t always win…