Tag Archive for ‘Six Day Racing’
Alex Rasmussen – Calling Time on Professional Cycling (Comments Off)
He’s been one of the outstanding track riders of the last decade, world champion four times across three disciplines – scratch (twice), madison with Michael Mørkøv and team pursuit. There’s been a raft of national, European and World Cup titles and podiums not to mention an Olympic team pursuit silver. On the Six Day scene he’s won in Berlin, Bremen, Copenhagen, Ghent and Grenoble. And that’s before we mention his road palmarés – two stages in the Dunkirk Four Day, the GP Herning, Philadelphia… But Alex Rasmussen has called ‘time’ on all of that and will race this season on a low key domestic programme.
We caught up with him the day before he rode his last ever Six Day chases in the Six Days of Copenhagen in Ballerup.
Inside the Berlin Six Day 2017 – the Final Three Nights (Comments Off)
The wee small hours of Wednesday morning, heading north out of Berlin, en route Rostock, the ferry across the Baltic and Denmark for the Copenhagen Six Day. I wish I could say that Berlin had an epic finale – but I can’t, it was dire. Processional, flat, uninspired with no tension, no theatre, no drama.
Kris reckons it’s the worst Six Day he’s ever seen – he’s seen many, many more than me and I wouldn’t argue with his judgement. The root of the problem is that in the Madison Group Six Days the riders are on reduced contract fees with the rest of their earnings in prize money. ‘Fair enough’ I hear you say. Trouble is that it’s not – because the riders are all busy trying to hold their place in the standings it breeds very negative racing.
Inside the Berlin Six Day 2017 – the First Three Nights (Comments Off)
You’ve got to get here first, right? Even by Ryanair punishment flight standards, it was a sore one. The lady in front of me, I’m sure was taking her kids to audition for; ‘Devil Spawn of Berlin, The Revenge’ – they’ll get the parts, no problem.
I felt like a native buying my S Bahn train ticket from the machine and riding into town with the rush hour commuters – damn cold though. It’s ‘all change’ at the velodrome, the pits have been moved into the centre of the track, divorcing us from the action and meaning we can’t push riders ‘in’ or offer them a hand to save them from kicking back on sore legs when they come in. The programme is different too with the big motors not coming out to play until after the last chase in the Six Day – happy days, so nice to walk out of the hall and leave the noise and exhaust fumes behind.
Gent Six Day 2016 – aka. the 76th Six Days of Flanders-Ghent (Comments Off)
Historically cold, wet wintery nights meant just one thing in cycling, Six Day racing. In recent years that has really only meant the ‘Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent’ (Six Days of Flanders-Ghent). This great race has continued to be successful during years when many of the other ‘classic’ Six Day races of Europe left their buildings, literally, for the last time to drift into cycling history.
The Westfalenhallen in Dortmund, the Olympic Hall in Munich and the Hallenstadion in Zürich all said goodbye to Six Day racing in the naughties due to financial losses, lack of sponsorship etc, although Zürich did try to comeback with a short-lived four day. It seems they have no such problems in Gent as year after year close to 40,000 fans have come to the Citadel Park to watch their favourites fly around the steeped banked 166.6 metre inside track the legendary Het Kuipke.
Justice for Gary Wiggins (Comments Off)
It’ll be nine years, this January since we ran our Gary Wiggins obituary. Wiggins, father of Knight of the Realm, current World Hour Record holder, reigning Olympic Team Pursuit Champion and former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, died in hospital in Newcastle, New South Wales the day after an ‘incident’ in Muswellbrook the previous day.
At the time the facts surrounding his death were unclear; traffic accident, a fall and an ‘altercation’ were all mentioned as possible contributory factors to his death. But Wiggin’s senior’s sister, Glenda Hughes – Sir Bradley’s auntie – has recently launched a campaign to expose the truth behind her brother’s demise at 55 years-of-age.
Berlin Six Days 2016 – Photo WrapUp (Comments Off)
This year saw edition 105 of the Six Days of Berlin, VeloVeritas had the good fortune to be there helping soigneur Kris look after Messrs. Germain Burton (GB), Daniel Holloway (USA), Mathias Krigbaum (Denmark) and Mark Stewart (Scotland).
Here’s a selection of images from under the largest unsupported steel roof in Europe on the site of what used to be the Berlin STASI Headquarters.
The Legend that is Danny Clark (Comments Off)
With all this Six Day chat we thought it might be nice to re-run this interview we did with Danny Clark some six years ago – jingz! where does time go? We hope you enjoy it…
My buddy, John Hardie is a 65 time Scottish grass track champion; his hero ‘back in the day’ was Danny Clark. When he heard that ‘Six Day King’ Danny Clark and me were breakfasting together at Copenhagen, it wasn’t long before the email arrived with the questions he wanted me to ask the great man.
Ace photographer John Pierce, not content with sending us those cracking shots of 70’s/early 80’s Six Day men, has sent us another batch of track images which bring us right up to the present day.
Again, we thought you’d like to see them…
He’s been making the headlines again, that Mark Stewart laddie.
We last spoke to him after his wins in the British scratch and team pursuit championships – not forgetting his silver in the points race.
This time it was success in the second round of the UCI World Cup in New Zealand where he won the scratch race.
It’s not every day that you receive pictures from one of the world’s best cycling photographers – they’re way too good to keep to ourselves so with Mr. John Pierce’s permission allow us to share his memories of some of his favourite Six Day riders of the 70’s and 80’s.
John attended the last London Six in 1980 and these first images are from that race.
Scrapbook: the Gent Six Day and Hasselt ‘Cross, 2015 (Comments Off)
Ed and pals spent a few days at the Gent Six Day, catching up with the racing and old friends, and taking in the world cup cycle-cross race at Hasselt as well – but before we consider the racing at the track we have to think about the entertainment; whilst Belgium is a modern country and advance technologically we still marvel at the track-side entertainment; it’s like stepping back to a miners’ welfare in the 70’s – but the crowd loves it – and so do we…
Then and Now – Wembley 1980 and London Six Day 2015, According to Top Soigneur Kris Tolmie (Comments Off)
Prior to the recent ‘five plus one’ it’s 35 years since a Six Day string made the London boards hum – albeit different times, riders and venue.
We thought it would be interesting to fire a few questions at a man who’s worked both races; 1980 AND 2015 – VeloVeritas’s ‘man on the inside’ and over the years soigneur to some of the biggest names in Six Day bike racing; Kris Tolmie.
Behind the Scenes at the Six Day London 2015 (Comments Off)
Second place finishers and race revelations Chris Latham and Ollie Woods are both products of the British Cycling ‘system’. There were a number of factors which contributed to their result – they’re familiar with the venue and the track is big, fast and non technical unlike Gent and Bremen which take a bit of getting used to.
The five, not six day format, short chases and big track mean that bigger gears can be ridden – right up the street of team pursuiters who rarely drop below 104” these days. All that said, Keisse, De Ketele, Van Hoecke and Co. all take bit of handling whatever the venue and gear ratio…
I remember once, after the last chase in a Six Day I asked Dirk, our Belgian mechanic; ‘was that finale ‘straight’ Dirk?’ He fixed me with a patient stare, much as a good parent would do after their child has said something silly, ‘have you ever seen a ‘straight’ Six Day, Ed?’
I took his point, they’re all pretty much choreographed – but like I keep saying, you have to be able to take laps out of a string riding at 52-53 kph to win. But I reckon that on Sunday evening I did see a straight finale – and our cycling sage and mentor, Vik shares my opinion having watched the finale on the computer; probably getting a better view and appreciation of the racing than I did.
The last 20 minutes or so were savage; up close you could see the pain on the faces with De Ketele and De Buyst looking increasingly determined and Cav and Iljo looking increasingly desperate.
Two decades, twenty years, it’s a long time – especially to ride a bike at world level. But it was 1994 when Australia’s Luke Roberts won his first world title in the junior team pursuit. The following year he twinned another victory in the team event with the world junior individual championship for good measure.
Two Commonwealth, three world and an Olympic team pursuit title followed. He’s ridden Pro Tour with CSC, Milram, Saxo, the Grand Tours, Classics and just about everything there is to ride – including the Six Days. We caught up with him in Amsterdam as he rides his last Sixes and prepares for a new chapter in his life – Director Sportiv with new Danish/Luxembourg Pro Continental squad, Cult Energy Pro Cycling.