I decided not to mention the demise of Franco Ballerini in my reports; the Copenhagen Six Day is a joyous thing and it’s hard to write about a tragic death and be upbeat.

All I would say is that he was a man; any Italian who can come to the North and win the biggest races, has my respect.

His work as Italian boss was excellent; probably the best drilled national team in the World.

Vai con Dio, Franco.

* * *

Copenhagen Six Day
Michael Smith Larsen listens to the Capo.
Copenhagen Six Day
Michael Sandstod.

Sunday is an early finish – 18:00 – at Copenhagen, but it’s still a bit of a sore one because of the early start.

The pro racing commences at 14:25; I got to bed at 02:00, rose at 08:00, wrote up my VeloVeritas diary, prepared for my interview with Daniel Holloway and edited the Day three pics.

I’d scheduled breakfast for 10:30 and to meet Jacob Mørkøv at the track for 11:00, to sort out the kit; I was in the cabin bang on time and Jacob wasn’t far behind me.

Copenhagen Six Day
Alex dislocates Martyn’s arm.

He’s a huge help, he knows all the Danish guys, having raced a bit himself and is familiar with their kit.

Copenhagen Six Day
Daniel Holloway.
Copenhagen Six Day
Chicken Little.

I was supposed to meet Daniel Holloway around an hour before the racing started, but the power died in the cabin and I had to get hold of the maintenance guy and be on hand to explain; ‘electric kaput!

The fact that it was the power was a huge relief; initially I thought I’d broken the kettle.

My mind was racing ahead to what Kris would say; it would have been a wheedling-and-a-half.

I caught up with Daniel about 15 minutes before the rolling presentation but after only a few questions, former Copenhagen Six winner and now race official, Jimmi Madsen arrived with … a chicken suit, for Daniel.

I’ll come back later, dude‘ I said as I left him to struggle in to yellow feathers.

His team mate, Colby Pearce summed it up best; ‘what the f**k is that?

‘Hollywood,’ as they call him, then did the whole of the rolling presentation in the chicken suit – to the delight of all.

I think he’s sealed his 2011 Copenhagen contract, with that one.

Extrovert though he is – I caught up with him later, to finish the interview – he’s an articulate, sharp guy, who knows what he wants to do.

Wasn’t it hot in that suit, Daniel?‘ I asked.

Yeah, after about four laps, I said to Colby, “I don’t know if I’m gonna make it!” but I managed it, somehow.

Copenhagen Six Day
Daniel, inexplicably, in his chicken suit.

He’s a one off – albeit I have received correspondence from Dave Chapman that the Bissell man’s socks are too long and I’ve to ‘have a word!’

And the next time someone tells you that the sixes are a “fixed,” ponder these stats from Daniel’s computer for the previous night’s madison – Distance covered in one hour: 57 kilometres. Highest speed achieved during the race: 68 kph. Maximum cadence: 161. Gear: 50 x 15 – piece of cake.

The atmosphere in the stadium was great today; virtually sold out, except for the new higher tiers, added for the Worlds.

There were hundreds of kids – and Postman Pat – and the buzz was good.

Copenhagen Six Day
Postman Pat.

The riders respond to that; it’s always hard to get a bunch to give it ‘full gas’ in a funereal atmosphere.

Some of the choices of music are inspired, for the dernys, they play; ‘In Zaire’ by Johnny Wakelin, it’s an an old tune but it suits the event perfectly, with the thunderous drums; ‘…seven rounds of torture, there…

We ticked off the last thing Martyn wanted his picture taken, whilst doing … pushing off in the derny.

The Nikon battery went flat soon after – it’s all the snaps I’ve been taking of him!

Copenhagen Six Day
Martyn pushes Franco off.

There was a surprise in the flying lap; Alex and Michael didn’t win – our boy Daniel Kreutzfeldt with his partner, Leon Van Bon took it with 13.161 to the Danes 13.165.

Van Bon has done a good reinvention job on himself; with his glory days of Dutch champion, Tour and Vuelta stage winner behind him, he’s turned himself into a Six Day man.

He was on the podium at Grenoble and won at Appeldoorn with Bartko.

His soigneur is his father-in-law; a good ploy for keeping the temptations of the flesh at bay.

Copenhagen Six Day
Van Bon.

The first time I was at the Berlin six day, I noticed a woman permanently sitting outside Andreas Kappes’ cabin.

Who’s that?‘ I asked a mechanic; ‘That’s his wife,‘ came the reply; ‘she’s here to make sure he behaves himself with the girls!

How many sixes does she go to?‘ I continued; ‘All of them!

Copenhagen Six Day
Big Bob leads the ‘tattie chase’.

The last chase looked good for the fans, but was actually a ‘potato chase’ – an easy one.

The term ‘potato chase’ comes from the old days when the public used to put primes up for the riders to go after. A wealthy local business man might put up a big cash prime for the next lap gain, for the kudos of a name check. But an old farmer with hardly a spare franc in his pocket might just bring in a bag of spuds.

Whilst the big riders weren’t interested, those tatties would be more than welcome as a prize by the minnows in the field and they’d race for them – hence; ‘potato chase.’

Copenhagen Six Day
Daniel Kreutzfeldt chills.

It just wouldn’t be possible to ride every chase at ‘full gas’ – much as the organisers would like it – or many riders wouldn’t get through the race.

This is Bruno’s last race and there was a wee soiree in his cabin after the race, to which – as his partner, Franco’s runner – I was invited.

I enjoyed a glass of wine and made my apologies – I can recognise an impending, ‘heid like a burst couch’ when I see one.

‘Eddy no mates’ headed back up to the track to avail himself of the wi-fi and send my pix over to Martin at the VeloVeritas HQ for your enjoyment – hope you like them.

Copenhagen Six Day
Martyn and Franco.

It’s 08:15 on Monday and I’ve just received an email from John Hardie with the questions he wants me to ask Danny Clark; I’d better get to work on that.

Ciao, ciao.

Results

Sprint 1

1 Jens-Erik Madsen / Marc Hester (Den) 5 pts
2 Robert Bartko / Iljo Keisse (Ger/Bel) 3
3 Bruno Risi / Franco Marvulli (Swi) 2
4 Sebastian Donadio / Tristan Marguet (Arg/Swi) 1

Sprint 2

1 Alex Rasmussen / Michael Mørkøv (Den) 5 pts
2 Léon van Bon / Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Ned/Den) 3
3 Alexei Shmidt / Jiri Hochmann (Rus/Cze) 2
4 Andreas Müller / Jesper Mørkøv (Aut/Den) 1

Sprint 3

1 Alexander Aeschbach / Michael Færk (Swi/Den) 5 pts
2 Sebastian Donadio / Tristan Marguet (Arg/Swi) 3
3 Colby Pearce / Daniel Holloway (USA) 2
4 Léon van Bon / Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Ned/Den) 1

Sprint 4

1 Bruno Risi / Franco Marvulli (Swi) 5 pts
2 Aloïs Kankovsky / Petr Lazar (Cze) 3
3 Andreas Müller / Jesper Mørkøv (Aut/Den) 2
4 Sebastian Donadio / Tristan Marguet (Arg/Swi) 1

Sprint 5

1 Alexander Aeschbach / Michael Færk (Swi/Den) 5 pts
2 Robert Bartko / Iljo Keisse (Ger/Bel) 3
3 Léon van Bon / Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Ned/Den) 2
4 Alex Rasmussen / Michael Mørkøv (Den) 1

Sprint 6

1 Sebastian Donadio / Tristan Marguet (Arg/Swi) 5 pts
2 Jens-Erik Madsen / Marc Hester (Den) 3
3 Colby Pearce / Daniel Holloway (USA) 2
4 Michael Smith Larsen / Michael Berling (Den) 1

Derny 1

1 Alex Rasmussen / Michael Mørkøv (Den) 10 pts
2 Robert Bartko / Iljo Keisse (Ger/Bel) 8
3 Danny Stam / Peter Schep (Ned) 6
4 Bruno Risi / Franco Marvulli (Swi) 4
5 Jens-Erik Madsen / Marc Hester (Den) 2
6 Alexei Shmidt / Jiri Hochmann (Rus/Cze)
7 Michael Smith Larsen / Michael Berling (Den)
8 Aloïs Kankovsky / Petr Lazar (Cze)
9 Sebastian Donadio / Tristan Marguet (Arg/Swi)
10 Colby Pearce / Daniel Holloway (USA)
11 Andreas Müller / Jesper Mørkøv (Aut/Den)
12 Léon van Bon / Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Ned/Den)
13 Alexander Aeschbach / Michael Færk (Swi/Den)
14 Leif Lampater / Christian Grasmann (Ger)

500m Time Trial

1 Bruno Risi / Franco Marvulli (Swi) 0:00:27.625
2 Alexander Aeschbach / Michael Færk (Swi/Den) 0:00:28.393
3 Léon van Bon / Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Ned/Den) 0:00:28.443
4 Jens-Erik Madsen / Marc Hester (Den) 0:00:28.590
5 Aloïs Kankovsky / Petr Lazar (Cze) 0:00:28.742
6 Alexei Shmidt / Jiri Hochmann (Rus/Cze) 0:00:28.987
7 Andreas Müller / Jesper Mørkøv (Aut/Den) 0:00:30.075
8 Danny Stam / Peter Schep (Ned) 0:00:30.580
9 Michael Smith Larsen / Michael Berling (Den) 0:00:30.581

Derny Sprint

1 Sebastian Donadio / Tristan Marguet (Arg/Swi) 10 pts
2 Alexander Aeschbach / Michael Færk (Swi/Den) 6
3 Léon van Bon / Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Ned/Den) 5
4 Michael Smith Larsen / Michael Berling (Den) 4
5 Aloïs Kankovsky / Petr Lazar (Cze) 3
6 Alexei Shmidt / Jiri Hochmann (Rus/Cze) 2
7 Leif Lampater / Christian Grasmann (Ger)
8 Bruno Risi / Franco Marvulli (Swi)
9 Alex Rasmussen / Michael Mørkøv (Den)
10 Robert Bartko / Iljo Keisse (Ger/Bel)
11 Jens-Erik Madsen / Marc Hester (Den)
12 Danny Stam / Peter Schep (Ned)
13 Andreas Müller / Jesper Mørkøv (Aut/Den)
14 Colby Pearce / Daniel Holloway (USA)

Flying Lap

1 Léon van Bon / Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Ned/Den) 10 pts
2 Alex Rasmussen / Michael Mørkøv (Den) 6
3 Leif Lampater / Christian Grasmann (Ger) 5
4 Bruno Risi / Franco Marvulli (Swi) 4
5 Sebastian Donadio / Tristan Marguet (Arg/Swi) 3
6 Danny Stam / Peter Schep (Ned) 2
7 Aloïs Kankovsky / Petr Lazar (Cze)
8 Robert Bartko / Iljo Keisse (Ger/Bel)
9 Alexander Aeschbach / Michael Færk (Swi/Den)
10 Jens-Erik Madsen / Marc Hester (Den)
11 Alexei Shmidt / Jiri Hochmann (Rus/Cze)
12 Colby Pearce / Daniel Holloway (USA)
13 Andreas Müller / Jesper Mørkøv (Aut/Den)
14 Michael Smith Larsen / Michael Berling (Den)

Giant Sprint
1 Michael Smith Larsen / Michael Berling (Den) 10 pts
2 Leif Lampater / Christian Grasmann (Ger) 8
3 Colby Pearce / Daniel Holloway (USA) 6
4 Alexei Shmidt / Jiri Hochmann (Rus/Cze) 4
5 Alexander Aeschbach / Michael Færk (Swi/Den) 3
6 Léon van Bon / Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Ned/Den) 2
7 Aloïs Kankovsky / Petr Lazar (Cze)
8 Sebastian Donadio / Tristan Marguet (Arg/Swi)
9 Bruno Risi / Franco Marvulli (Swi)
10 Alex Rasmussen / Michael Mørkøv (Den)
11 Robert Bartko / Iljo Keisse (Ger/Bel)
12 Jens-Erik Madsen / Marc Hester (Den)
13 Danny Stam / Peter Schep (Ned)
14 Andreas Müller / Jesper Mørkøv (Aut/Den)

Madison

1 Jens-Erik Madsen / Marc Hester (Den) 20 pts

One lap behind
2 Léon van Bon / Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Ned/Den) 12
3 Leif Lampater / Christian Grasmann (Ger) 10
4 Colby Pearce / Daniel Holloway (USA) 8
5 Andreas Müller / Jesper Mørkøv (Aut/Den) 6
6 Alexander Aeschbach / Michael Færk (Swi/Den) 4

Two laps behind
7 Robert Bartko / Iljo Keisse (Ger/Bel) 2
8 Danny Stam / Peter Schep (Ned)
9 Alex Rasmussen / Michael Mørkøv (Den)
10 Sebastian Donadio / Tristan Marguet (Arg/Swi)
11 Bruno Risi / Franco Marvulli (Swi)

Three laps behind
12 Alexei Shmidt / Jiri Hochmann (Rus/Cze)
13 Aloïs Kankovsky / Petr Lazar (Cze)

Four laps behind
14 Michael Smith Larsen / Michael Berling (Den)

Overall Standings after night four

1 Alex Rasmussen / Michael Mørkøv (Den) 173 pts
2 Bruno Risi / Franco Marvulli (Swi) 169
3 Robert Bartko / Iljo Keisse (Ger/Bel) 161

One lap behind
4 Leif Lampater / Christian Grasmann (Ger) 111
5 Danny Stam / Peter Schep (Ned) 86

Two laps behind
6 Jens-Erik Madsen / Marc Hester (Den) 112

Three laps behind
7 Léon van Bon / Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Ned/Den) 167

Nine laps behind
8 Colby Pearce / Daniel Holloway (USA) 76
9 Andreas Müller / Jesper Mørkøv (Aut/Den) 62

Eleven laps behind
10 Alexander Aeschbach / Michael Færk (Swi/Den) 79

Twelve laps behind
11 Sebastian Donadio / Tristan Marguet (Arg/Swi) 77

Fourteen laps behind
12 Alexei Shmidt / Jiri Hochmann (Rus/Cze) 25

Nineteen laps behind
13 Aloïs Kankovsky / Petr Lazar (Cze) 33

Twenty Three laps behind
14 Michael Smith Larsen / Michael Berling (Den) 61

UIV Cup

1 Sebastian Lander / Christian Kreutzfeldt (Den) 14 pts
2 Bob Stöpler / Bouke Kuiper (Ned) 4
3 Simon Bigum / Rasmus H. Lund (Den) 3
4 Emil Hovmand / Mathias Greve (Den) 3

One lap behind
5 Mike Lauge / Nichlas E. Sørensen (Den) 12
6 George Atkins / Jonathan Mould (GBr) 8
7 Frederik Schwartz / Casper Degn Larsen (Den) 7
8 Ian Moir / Kit Karzen (USA) 5
9 Damien Corthésy / Loïc Perizzolo (Swi) 4
10 Lasse Norman Hansen / Daniel Mielke (Den) 3
11 Philip Frank / Mikkel Mortensen (Den) 3
12 Mathias Øllegaard / Stefan Linné Jørgensen (Den)

Two laps behind
13 Davide Comolino / Andrea Comuzzi (Ita)
14 Jonas Jørgensen / Sebastian Refsgaard (Den)

Copenhagen Six Day
When your’re stars, you can’t just bolt for the door.