cycling matters


Berlin Six Day 2013 – Day Five

There’s no wi-fi in the stadium at Berlin, you have to go up to the press room; it’s quiet up there, there’s hard wired internet which has your pictures flying in a nanosecond and a fridge full of soft drinks and beer – a runner/journalists Nirvana you might say.

Forgive me if I digress, but my mind goes back to the first time I covered the Tour of Flanders – used to cabinets full of lukewarm mineral water at the Grand Tours, imagine my delight when I opened the chiller cabinet in the press room to find it packed with cold tins of beer – that’s one of the reasons it’s the Heartland.

Anyway, they had what I think was honey beer in the cabinet – and lovely it was, too.

I’d been glugging the stuff straight from the bottle but made the mistake of pouring one – it’s a strange green colour, now I know why I’m having those nightmares.

We were chatting to ‘Stanley’ the Czech soigneur today – his boys are coming straight to Copenhagen from the San Luis Tour in Argentina.

From Contador to Mørkøv – they just can’t get away from those damned Saxo boys.

Berlin Six Day

We're back into the swing again, night number five.

The presentations drag, the sprint series runs its course – sprinter time.

Levy tracks the fence, he winds it, the crowd roars, he swoops, the noise hurts you ears, the music cuts in – but what’s that tune, great drums?

Not heard that for a while, it’s er . . . Gary Glitter, oops!

Berlin Six Day

Bartko's derny driver is enjoying himself.

Bartko told Guy to slow down in the De'il - he won’t be saying that in the chase I’m thinking.

The chase is brisk, Franco looks good and so does his partner, Andreas Müller, he gets a little better every year – and he’s one of the ‘good guys.’

Berlin Six Day

The big bikes are prepared.

Stayers – Zach has good ‘war stories’ from that one; one of the big BMWs cut across his pace bike and Rene Aebi, his pacer had to come off the gas to avoid shunting it, Zach hit the roller twice and had to fight hard to stay upright.

Berlin Six Day

The stayer racing behind these bikes really is mental.

I’m not sure what was worse,’ he tells us, ‘the pain or the fear!

The bouquets for the stayer duly presented – needless to say, there were none for our Zach – and most of the crowd bolts for the exits.



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