Tag Archive for ‘Berlin Six Day 2012’
The line of taxi lights stretches back into the darkness like a string of pearls, it’s beautiful in an a big city kind of a way – it could be a scene from a Woody Allen film; but it’s not Manhattan, it’s Berlin at 01:40 am.
The beige Merc cabs get to drive down to the underground Velodrom entrance to pick up ViPs, meanwhile the support staff – that’s us – have to hi-jack a supermarket trolley and use the lift to take our stuff up to the camper.
Sundays at German Sixes are and have always been ‘family day’ when the programme of sport and entertainment is held during the afternoon rather than in the evening or night. On a cold wind-chilled winter afternoon, local families came along to the Landsberger Allee Velodrome to enjoy the racing and pass on the tradition from one generation to the next.
The race programme kicked off with a series of Sprints won by Kalz – Bengsch who are looking like the real deal this time around and should continue to challenge for a podium place.
It’s gone 1:00 am, the Dernys buzz their ‘Ipcress’ noise, Brad eases down off the fence, he takes the sling off Jackie, tucks in behind the little monster and Mr. Simes is done for the night. Brad has 25 laps to go with just a few knots of hardcore fans in the stands to watch him-and the drinkers in the track centre, naturally.
‘That’s the first time this week the driver hasn’t ripped the legs off me!’ says Jackie as he gets ready for the dash to the cabin, a shower and then the peace of the hotel room.
Jackie summed it up best when I asked if he’d slept well; ‘yeah, but just not long enough!’ But Dirk had a take on it too; ‘why can’t we just go straight from Saturday to Monday?’ There’s always a down beat Johnny Cash kind of vibe to Sunday afternoons sessions; ‘the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad, so I had one more for dessert.’
But once the shower blasts and the coffee blends, it’s not so bad.
The 101st Berliner Sechstage Rennen started on Thursday and according to reports the crowds have been down a little on last night.
On the track big gaps have already appeared as the top five teams have started the fight that will conclude in the final hour long Madison on Tuesday night.
‘Just Another Tequila Sunrise,’ it’s ironic that the covers band who kick off as soon as the racing finishes at gone 01:00AM aren’t half bad – but it’s time for me to disappear down the tunnel to hang up the washing etc. etc.
The track centre party goes on ’til 02:30 am but I hope to be in a coma by then.
I’d forgotten the raw horror of a Frank Zander gig; ‘If I Had a Hammer’ was blasting out at around 11:00 pm and it occurred to me that if you’re a bad musician then Germany is the place to be.
Frank sounds like a guy with a really bad throat infection singing the ‘Worst Europop Album in the World, Ever’ on a karaoke night at the Lochore Miners Welfare-but the crowd love the man, so who am I to criticise?
I’m standing on the chair so as I can see over the cabin, Leif Lampater and Roger Kluge are the only pair left to ride in the 1,000 metres time trial.
Roger is smooth, fast, the sling to Leif isn’t perfect but it’s not too bad.
Leif drives but he’s not at his best – it seems like no one is on this first night in Berlin – the digits whirl on the lap board, he sprints up the home straight, 58 seconds.
The Berlin Six Day reached a golden milestone last January with its 100th edition, and the annual festivities will return to the German Capital for the 101st time on Thursday.
Unfortunately Six Day racing continues to be in decline and it’s not something that can solely be laid at the door of the global economy rather just a sad fact of life that times change.