Kris heads straight for breakfast from the camper but I’m not man enough for that, I need the shower to bring me to life before I can face Rotterdam Six Day 2019, Day Four.
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Sunday is an ‘afternoon only’ day with a 1:00pm start and 5:00pm finish but we didn’t get to bed ‘til gone 2:00am so when the alarm blasts on Sunday morning, it’s painful.
Duly showered and first coffee downed things start to look better though.
Whilst it’s no walk in the park, the Sunday racing is never quite as savage as the other days.
Steels and Van Schip carry on where they left off on Saturday night and win the first chase of the day.
Sprinters next and Theo Bos is back to his roots and dicing with the body builders in the sprints – Bos was pretty successful on the road with stage wins in the likes of Castilla y Leon, Oman, Poland, Denmark and Turkey plus single day success in Drenthe, Tour of North Holland and Ronde van Zeeland Seaports but never really broke through to take the Grand Tour stage wins he had hoped for.
Bos took bronze in the Kilometre Worlds last year but sprinting against the team sprinters here he has little chance – but he’s a ‘name’ and the crowds like him.
Wim Stroetinga wins the Devil and Moreno De Pauw the Derny.
Moreno and Kenny De Ketele were an item on the boards until earlier this year when Moreno’s form took a downturn so the federation paired Kenny with young Rob Ghys.
The duo duly went out and won the European Madison Championships – fait accompli and Moreno must now ride with others.
Tempo race – let’s gloss over that one…
More Dernys then the big chase which isn’t too savage, it’s Sunday after all – Yoeri & Wim please the crowd.
I’m on holding-up duties in the team sprint – which the home squad of world champions win for the fourth night straight.
How can three guys from three different nations hope to defeat the finely tuned world champ machine?
There’s simply no chance – so why not give the ‘European’ boys a head start? Handicap it and make for closer racing – but I’m just the runner…
‘Danish Dynamite’ – aarrrgggghhhh! – win the Points Race then it’s time for the u23 Elimination.
GB boys Rory McKay and Louis Bilyard are here under their own steam but having a bit of a torrid time against top opposition; riders like Austrian Moritz Augenstein, a seasoned campaigner on the winter boards.
I trotted over to get some snaps before Louis was out early in the Devil.
To close we had the ‘Super Sprint’, a Points Race / Devil mongrel – I can’t remember who won, sorry.
After that it was a mad rush to get changed for the meal at the hotel that’s a Sunday night tradition.
But not for us – toasties – there are pictures to edit and a keyboard to tap.
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With just four minutes to go in the big chase it looked like De Ketele and Ghys were going to win the Madison and take the lead overall – until Lady Luck dealt them an ace of spades and Kenny – the most capable and experienced man on the boards – came down hard.
Verdict: broken collarbone.
Rob Ghys then partnered with our man, Wojciech to make a new team – but Six Day Madison new rules puts them five laps back, a podium is unlikely.
Wojciech’s partner, our other rider Daniel, is currently out of the race too with a badly inflamed gum; last time we saw him he was headed for the hospital.
Six Days are bitches – and then you crash…
On the ‘up’ side, coffee is free for us in the track centre and it’s not bad at all – a trip out to the bar lets you savour the v.i.p. ladies’ perfumes – a lovely contrast from ‘eau de coureur’ over in the cabins.
And at the bar you’re sure to find ‘Boogie,’ Roompot DS and former Amstel winner, Michael Boogerd.
The first chase goes to Messrs. Terpstra & Boudat with the little Frenchman not looking nearly as strong as the big Dutchman.
Theo Bos is up on the boards again tonight but must have ‘had a word’ with the organisation, he gets two wins and brings the crowd to life.
Derny one to Niki and Lavreysen qualifies fastest for the Sprint – 10.2 on this tight track, pretty impressive.
Roy Pieters, son of former Dutch National Pro Champion and Paris-Tours winner, Peter, takes the Tempo Race.
Derny two, I take pictures of all the riders – except the guy who wins – Theo Reinhardt.
More sprinters then it’s big chase time.
Ironically, an upset Rob Ghys takes the laurels as winner whilst poor Ken get carted off to hospital – the race effectively ended when Kenny crashed.
And in the ‘old guys who only saddos like Ed remember’ file, we had a visit from Dutch cycling royalty, Hennie Kuiper – Olympic and World Champion; Primavera, Flanders, Roubaix and Lombardy winner.
One more day to go, last washing tonight so ‘mustn’t grumble.’