You know when you’re getting old when ‘young guys’ you were with on their first race come round to retiring. At the Copenhagen Six Day 2009 we saw Danes Alex Rasmussen and Michael Mørkøv take their home Six for the first time.
I was lucky enough to be working for them as their ‘runner’… and I was their runner at Grenoble on their first Six Day in 2006.
But whilst Michael – as one of the most respected domestiques around – moves from Katusha to QuickStep for 2018, Alex has retired – last year’s Copenhagen Six Day was his last ‘race to nowhere.’
But let’s look back to 2009 and some great memories.
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Alcazar’s ‘Crying at the discotheque‘ may have been the soundtrack to Alex Rasmussen’s huge attack in the closing minutes of the 2009 Copenhagen Six Day; but the only tears shed some 17 laps later were those of joy as home boy, ‘Razi’ and his Denmark and Saxo Bank ‘other half,’ Michael Mørkøv sent the full house home happy from Ballerup Super Arena.
On the penultimate night it had looked like the best the young Danes could hope for would be second behind the swashbuckling William Tell duo of Franco Marvulli and Bruno Risi.
But as the first tread band broke the finish line timing beam on the stroke of midnight on Tuesday, the classy Swiss had to settle for third, denied their hat trick at Copenhagen by the young men in the legendary number seven, ‘Danish flag’ jersey, but also behind the Netherlands duo of Peter Schep and Danny Stam.
The Dutch men had looked the freshest in the 70 minute chase which decide the race and indeed, finished level on laps with the Danes.
But the home team’s domination of the nightly flying laps and dernys meant that they had a far superior points total as the witching hour fell.
VeloVeritas was with the winners throughout the day of this win at the Copenhagen Six Day, their third Six Day win; Grenoble having fallen to them for the last two years.
Breakfast, and it’s not every day you have your orange juice with a legend; but Patrick Sercu is sitting just two tables away from us this morning – we’re in the same room, so I’m claiming it as “breakfast with the Flemish Arrow!”
The TV cameraman and reporter have tailed Michael the whole day. Massage, lunch, getting ready for the race, during the race – it’s a pain for us; but that’s what life’s like when you become a showman.
Talking of TV, one of the Danish networks is covering the final night, live.
When we arrive there are strangers everywhere – and kilometres of cables.
Jakob Piil, who was the last Danish winner here, with Jimmy Madsen, four years ago, is doing the TV pundit thing – he still looks in good shape.
The rolling presentation of the field sees Michael and Alex receive a rapturous reception from the big crowd.
Marvulli wins more wine, in one of the sprints – these races baffle us, but the boys come back with lots of prizes, win or loose, so we’re not complaining.
Jens-Erik has been a bit ‘down’ all week, but he’s perked-up today; could that be because it’s pay day?
Dernys; Franco hates them, I’ve never seen him win behind them. Michael’s been dominant here, but Stam takes this one.