It wasn’t a great first night, sparse crowds, lack lustre chases and I seemed to spend the whole day gittering about to little effect; but we’re set up, the hotel is great, the boys are all relaxed and it’s Friday – so maybe we’ll get a better crowd.

Will it be Wonderful this year?
Will it be Wonderful this year?
You don't want to take the wrong ferry from Rostock.
You don’t want to take the wrong ferry from Rostock.
Ballerup velodrome.
Ballerup velodrome. (click for the full image)

Copenhagen is ‘old school’ – long chases are what six days are all about say the organisers; I’m not so sure.

A ‘soft’ chase on a 166 metre track is one thing, you just about get away with it, but on the broad acres of a 250 metre track it’s dire, it looks so slow and processional.

Colby hands over.
Colby hands over. (click for the full image)
'Ed's boys' warm up for the chase.
‘Ed’s boys’ warm up for the chase.
Whilst the drinks are prepared.
Whilst the drinks are prepared.

I was talking to Danny Clark at breakfast and he was waxing lyrical about the ‘old days’ of 100 kilometre chases to start the night every night for six days.

The conversation was veering into Monty Python territory a little though;

“We opened the night with a 100 kilometre chase, raced hard all night until 05:00 am and then we partied.

And the racing started again at 11:00 am and lasted all afternoon…”

I was just waiting for him to say;

“…and the organisers used to publicly flog us every night and paid us only one euro per day…”

That was ‘then‘ and this is ‘now‘ – the big road stars don’t ride the sixes these days and the public don’t want to sit for nearly two hours watching a madison – especially if it was like the two I witnessed here, last night.

But a six has to have it’s own formula, Grenoble has the cabaret, Gent has the Dernys and pils, Berlin the sprinters and stayers and if long chases work here, then who am I to argue?

But maybe the organisers at the now defunct Dortmund, Munich and Stuttgart sixes said the same thing?

Alex and Michael.
Alex and Michael. (click for the full image)
Franco and Alexander.
Franco and Alexander. (click for the full image)

As well as the usual Franco, Michael, Alex and Jens-Erik contingent, we have US rider Colby Pearce to look after; there’s not much Colby hasn’t done; criteriums, cyclo-cross, mountain bikes – and he’s won track World Cups.

Colby behind the derny.
Colby behind the derny. (click for the full image)

He’s a cool guy and not hard to work with; nor is our sixth rider – Michael Mørkøv’s little brother, Jesper who’s fresh from winning the U23 six at Berlin on the back of a road season in France.

Michael's wee brother Jesper leads the string.
Michael’s wee brother Jesper leads the string. (click for the full image)

Alex’s HTC kit takes a wee bit of getting used to, I’ve had two years of the two Danes wearing matching Saxo kit.

How does Alex do that?
How does Alex do that? (click for the full image)

I like the new ‘baby blue’ Saxo kit, it’s an unusual colour, but Michael’s mitts are lethal for the dye running and have to be washed separately.

Michael's new kit.
Michael’s new kit.

If you’ve seen our stuff about Copenhagen then you’ll have read that Michael had special ‘undersized’ jerseys made for himself so they’re skin tight and won’t flap, what I forgot to say was that he had them made extra long so there’s no chance of them coming out of the waist band of his shorts – did someone say ‘attention to detail?’

Jens has a new team, too - Concordia.
Jens has a new team, too – Concordia.

The cycling team situation in Denmark isn’t great; Saxo may be big players but further down the scale there’s not much doing – that was why Michael Rasmussen’s Christina Watches team has caused a stir.

Probably not a design consideration for the Chicken's new team.
Probably not a design consideration for the Chicken’s new team.

There are a lot of riders who would kill for a contract and Rasmussen’s claim that he had more than 50 applications rings true to me.

Jens was a national team member but had to come off the programme because his life was becoming one perpetual training camp – and with a wife and young child that’s not the best.

Bib Bob Bartko.
Bib Bob Bartko.

Unlike Berlin, where some of the Six Day ‘names’ were missing, all of the players are here – Robert Bartko partners with Robert Bengsch, a pairing that has already won Bremen.

Bob's partner Bensch.
Bob’s partner Bensch.

Also here are Peter Schep, Leif Lampater, de Ketele, Mertens, Hester, Stam, Grasmann – plus van Bon and Aeschbach, neither of them rode in Berlin as part of the organisers’ efforts to keep costs down.

Leon van Bon.
Leon van Bon. (click for the full image)
Franco isn't quite on his game just now.
Franco isn’t quite on his game just now.
Kenny de Ketele says hi.
Kenny de Ketele says hi.
Leif Lampater.
Leif Lampater. (click for the full image)
Colby with soigneur Martin.
Colby with soigneur Martin.

Who Let The Dogs Out?‘ is blasting, the U23 guys are burning up the track so I best get on my ‘par nr. 7‘ uniform – I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

ciao, ciao.

Team Number 7 Cheerleaders.
Team Number 7 Cheerleaders.
There's no escape from fame.
There’s no escape from fame. (click for the full image)
Tristan after the flying lap, Michelle the soigneur shares the glory.
Tristan after the flying lap, Michelle the soigneur shares the glory.

Result

Standings after Night One

1 Jens-Erik Madsen (Den)/Marc Hester (Den) Principia 54 pts
At One Lap
2 Danny Stam (Ned)/Leon van Bon (Ned) DSS Security 31
3 Alex Rasmussen (Den)/Michael Mørkøv (Den) Lundbæk & Hansen 49
4 Kenny de Ketele (Bel)/Tim Mertens (Bel) Agerbak Busservice 40
5 Robert Bartko (Ger)/Robert Bengsch (Ger) Loxam 26
6 Franco Marvulli (Swi)/Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) Gittermand 23
At Two Laps
7 Peter Schep (Ned)/Leif Lampater (Ger) Sydbank 21
8 Andreas Müller (Aut)/Tristan Marguet (Swi) PO Nielsen 25
At Three Laps
9 Nick Stöpler (Ned)/Jesper Mørkøv (Den) Watergroup 10
10 Luke Roberts (Aus)/Sebastian Lander (Den) Niscayah A/S 17
11 Niki Byrgesen (Den)/Christian Ranneries (Den) Post Danmark 12
At Four Laps
12 Jiri Hochmann (Cze)/Martin Blaha (Cze) LOOP 3
13 Colby Pearce (USA)/Sebastian Donadio (Arg) CEC 12
14 Michael Smith Larsen (Den)/Yoeri Havik (Ned) Fitness World 4
At Six Laps
15 : Alexei Markov (Rus)/Ivan Kovalev (Rus) Claus Dalsgaard A/S / TeleBilling 9

It may be one in the morning but Jesper needs a rub.
It may be one in the morning but Jesper needs a rub.