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Copenhagen Six Day 2009 – Day 4


I was second in the derny, behind Muller, and he’s very good — why don’t you test me?” says Michael Berling to the UCI guy who has to chaperone Michael Morkov to the doping controle at the Copenhagen Six Day 2009.

Franco pipes up; “Grasmann was last in the derny, that’s a suspicious result!

The UCI guy has heard it all before; “I just chaperone the rider, who gets tested is nothing to do with me.

We leave Michael to his fate and head for the restaurant; it’s nearly 02.00 am Sunday when we eat and close to 03.00 am when I get to bed.

What seems like five minutes later I’m organising the clothes, filling the bottles, tidying the cabins, polishing shoes and helmets . . .

Copenhagen Six Day 2009
Part of Ed’s daily chores – the washing.

Still, it’s Sunday and the programme finishes at six — deep joy.

The riders arrive just minutes before the race and there’s a scramble for clothing and bikes for the rolling presentation.

Alex shouts to me from the string, I look up as he saws at an imaginary steering wheel; they’re threatening to tow his lovely new Audi away because he’s badly parked — again.

Down to the cabin, find the key, back up, find the car, then a 15 minute hassle to find a parking space; there are no problems with a small crowd today: all the car parks are full.

Copenhagen Six Day 2009
Waiting for the racing to start.

: By the time I get back up to the track it’s time for the World cyclo cross champs on Dirk’s computer; Albert runs away with it — damn!

I had a two beer wager on with Jered Gruber that Boom would win, he lost too, though — he’s a Nys man.

At the start, when Nys and Albert are attacking Boom in classic, ‘one-two’ fashion, Eddy the mechanic explains to me; ‘we cannot have a Dutchman winning our discipline, so to start, they are killing him — slowly!’

Yes, that Belgian/Dutch dislike thing is all just imagined.

Copenhagen Six Day 2009
Leif Lampater.

It’s time for my Leif Lampater interview; he’s a nice guy and once I slow my 160 kph Fife-speak down a little, we communicate just fine. That one will be on Pez soon.

Edwin Starr is making ‘Eye to eye contact’ for the flying lap, Marvulli has taken up position in the home straight to organise the Mexican waves; the atmosphere is great, even though Alex and Michael have a bad day and don’t win.

Copenhagen Six Day 2009
Tony Doyle and Franco think about the money they’ll make in London.

Another face from the past appears, it’s Tony Doyle, and he’s showing a prospective sponsor of the proposed London six what the game is all about; he’s picked a good day to do it — good music, good vibe and a full house.

I’ve set up another interview; with ‘Mr. Born in the USA’ himself, Daniel Holloway and his older compadre, Colby Pearce.

They’re nice guys too, but we have to cut the interview short due to an inconvenient final 40 minute chase in the six — more tomorrow.

It is Sunday, so the chase isn’t what you’d call savage; Danish child actor turned teacher and sometime six day rider Mads Bugge, who’s face is a mask of permapain in every chase, takes a lap with his team mate Matthe Pronk.

Have I missed something – Is this a Hans Christian Andersen benefit day?

I begin to slip away, thinking about what’s for dinner and my hotel bed, when Bill Haley jolts me out of my torpor; ‘One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock, rock . . . . ‘

Copenhagen Six Day 2009
Michael & Razi warm up.

‘My’ boys are on the attack, but Franco snuffs it out, pronto — he looks better today; loose, rangy and fast.

But it’s a storm in a teacup and the bunch settle down to watching the clock tick down — it’s always a bad sign when the official photographers slip away with 15 minutes to go.

Up on the track you can see the big guys over-running the wheel in front when the little guys go through.

There are six teams on the zero lap and it’s down to the sprint; with four to go, Franco and Bruno take off — it’s not their day, this is for show.

The number seven team of Rasmussen and Morkov take it and the house goes mad; the buzz is good as I take their caps, towels and bottles round — again.