Saturday, May 28, 2022
HomeDiariesCopenhagen Six Day 2010 - Getting There

Copenhagen Six Day 2010 – Getting There

-

On my way to the Copenhagen Six Day 2010 and Scotland was beautiful this morning, the views from the window of the British Midland jet were stunning.

The Pentlands covered in snow, the ‘terriers head’ of Fife framed by the Forth and Tay; the Isle of May seeming to hover in the air, guarding the mouth of the Forth.

It was cloudy over the North Sea, but we were cruising well above the soft white carpet; the sky the deepest of blues, the sunlight golden.

Copenhagen Six Day 2010
The Lothians of Scotland laid out below.

It was a rude awakening as we descended through the fluffiness though.

The islands off Copenhagen were ringed with pack ice, the snow was thick and there were only a few spotlight points of weak sunshine on the steel grey water.

The navigation buoys were keeled way over by the wind and fierce tidal rip.

The Oresund bridge looked even more surreal than ever as it’s road and train decks dived from the bridge piers into the ice covered artificial island where it plunges into a tunnel to complete it’s journey from Sweden.

The plane rumbled and rattled across hard packed snow and ice, with piles of dirty snow heaped everywhere.

“Welcome to Copenhagen!”

Copenhagen Six Day 2010
Martyn Frank.

We have 11 riders to look after here, that means additional help; I met up with Martyn Frank in the arrivals hall.

Martyn is a masseur; he works with John Herety’s Rapha team and has also been on the Six Day scene, with Garry Beckett.

If Garry’s name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s now Endura Racing DS.

He hasn’t been doing the Sixes this winter because of the demands of getting Endura up and running.

Incidentally, speaking of Endura, I noticed that Bob Hayles has ‘Killer’ printed on his jersey collar. I was just pondering that if I was in the squad, I’d have to have ‘Fatty’ or ‘Baldy’ on there.

Anyway.

Kris picked us up and we made our way up to Ballerup, where the stadium is located.

“Copenhagen” Six is a bit of a misnomer – Ballerup is well outside the city, maybe 15 miles?

Copenhagen Six Day 2010
The track at Ballerup.

In the “good old days” the Six was help right in the heart of the city, at the Forum, but with the completion of Denmark’s first permanent indoor track, the Six moved out of town.

The Six was missing from the calendar a few years back – the laminated timber roof beams collapsed under a big snow load and suddenly, it became an outdoor track.

There was the usual huge dispute between architect, engineer and contractor, but eventually the roof was fixed and it’s a good looking venue, again. There are World Cups held here and the Worlds kick off this March at the venue.

The man with the cabin keys had disappeared to the airport, so we decided not to waste time and went to do the shopping.

Our main purchases were nuts and raisins – World Madison Champion, Michael Mørkøv has decided that he only wants ‘sports food’ in the track side cabin and in the big cabin downstairs, he doesn’t want to nibble biscuits – only healthy dried fruit and nuts.

Copenhagen Six Day 2010
Alex and Michael are going nuts for this six.

We also topped up on bottled water; Michael and Worlds winning amigo Alex Rasmussen, have also decided to forego the perennial Six Day rider’s favourite ‘glugs’ of Sprite, Fanta and Coke – only water for their cabin.

Prices in Denmark are wild – at least double what you would expect to pay in the UK. But I guess that’s the price for living in a mega welfare state.

We checked in to our Zleep Hotel on the way back, spartan but clean, cosy and so much better than sleeping in the camper’s ‘death pod’ (but don’t tell Kris I said that).

Copenhagen Six Day 2010
“No trouser press – who uses them anyway?”

Zleep Hotels are a budget chain and their patter is good – “No phone in the room – what’s the point? You have your mobile with you . . .”

Back at the Ballerup Super Arena, there was the usual pack horse job to do; transporting all the food, drink, dishes and cutlery, washing and drying paraphernalia, and all the rest, from the camper to the big under-track cabin, which is our HQ for the next week.

Bruno Risi (he’s still the King) bounced past; “Ciao, Bruno.” “Hi guys!”

Table and chairs have to be appropriated – there are never enough – and the space transformed into a lounge/Chinese laundry/store room.

Colby Pearce, the American rider stopped for a chat – he’s looking well, skinny and with good colour; he’s riding with Daniel Holloway (Hollywood) the man who enlivened the sprints last year, with his Bruce Springsteen impersonations at the top of the bankings.

Copenhagen Six Day 2010
Hollywood and Colby enjoy the Sixes.

Set up takes a long time; it has to be just right for Kris, and it was early evening before we stole a look at the track.

The lighting is very bright and a mixed bunch of pros, amateurs and sprinters circled the boards as Kris fretted about our track side cabins getting purloined by ‘baddies.’

I had an telephone interview to do and had to hightail it back to the hotel – in short sleeves, my sweat shirt was locked in the cabin and I didn’t have time to mess about.

Interview duly conducted, I set out on foot to find the restaurant, where Kris and Martyn were making with the pizza.

I missed the turn and ended up walking a couple of kilometres in the snow – again, in short sleeves.

My arms were still burning from exposure when Kris knocked on the room door, bearing a pizza – he’s not a bad boss!

Ed Hood
Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 47 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, a team manager, and a sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days for some of the world's top riders. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Copenhagen Six Day 2013 – Day Six

'Are you ready, boys?' asks ex-pro and new Copenhagen Six Day 2013 race organiser, Michael Sandstød. Then he adds with a grin; 'Enjoy your last hour in Copenhagen!' I'm holding Michael Mørkøv on the start line for the final chase.

The First Three Nights of the Rotterdam Six Day 2019

Dutch 15 times former motor paced world champion Bruno Walrave is the man with the plan - and the keys; but he's, 'in a meeting... Bruno is pushing 80 years-of-age but let’s just say that; “age hasn’t mellowed him.” Eventually the door opens and we're in business – handshakes, the key, creds and unload the mobile home.

Scrapbook: the Gent Six Day and Hasselt ‘Cross, 2015

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...

A Pictorial Look Back at the Berlin Six Day 2014

Watched by 75,000 spectators over the course of the event in the velodrome Landsberger Allee, Andreas Müller and Kenny de Ketele won the 103rd edition of the Berlin Six Day. On the last day and the last race they overtook the long-time leaders Leif Lampater and Jasper de Buyst with a race winning attack - exciting stuff. Third place went to Robert Bartko, which was his last time in Berlin at the Six with his young partner Theo Reinhardt.

Gent Six Day 2010 – Nights Five and Six, Iljo-Schep Hold On

It's Monday morning, I'm sitting in some horrible 'theme' bar at Charleroi Airport. My flight home to Edinburgh is cancelled due to the snow in Auld Scotia and the best I could wangle was Charleroi to Dublin, tonight then Dublin to Prestwick in the morning. My pal Dave has booked me into a hotel at Dublin airport, so I'm as sorted as I can be. The alternative flight from here was late on Wednesday night. The six all seems a long time ago...

Grenoble Six Day 2010, Night Five – Velocious Elia Viviani

There’s no telling what you’ll see when you walk up those stairs; you’d expect to see Elia Viviani or Teun Mulder on the rollers on their road bikes or Shane Perkins on his track bike on the rollers — but a juggler?

At Random

Toby Perry – Racing with Hagens Berman Axeon in 2022

Since we spoke to Toby Perry in April things have moved on apace for him and by happy coincidence we caught up with his coach, former British champion on road and track, Dean Downing at the Hawick start of the Tour of Britain stage. ‘Deano’ advised us that it might be a good idea to ring Toby in Spain - he had some good news to share.

Zürich Six Day 2012 – Part II

It's 05:30 CET Monday in the North Sea, somewhere. Our epic through the night time snow of Central Europe after the Zürich Six Day was rewarded by a nice autumn morning in The Netherlands, even if the coffee was extortionate at the services. We were in plenty of time for the 17:00 ferry to Newcastle. I couldn't keep my eyes open after 20:00, so that's why I'm up and about at 05:00 am - and that North Sea air is fresh. But let's talk winter track racing - I can't say 'Six Days' in this case.

Dave McCann – Getting Faster As He Gets Older

There were some great rides in the World Elite time trial championships; the trouble was that Fabian's towering performance over shadowed everything. Take the man in 11th spot - Dave McCann of Ireland, no sponsor, no state of the art bike but a solid performance that saw him in the 'hot seat' area for a large part of that sunny afternoon in Mendrisio..

Gent Six Day 2009 – Night Two; Iljo Keisse!

It's different here; the butcher asks you how Keisse is doing in the six and the local paper has Iljo in full colour, on the cover. In the same paper - De Gentenaar - which is a local 'rag,' there's a two page guide to track racing and two pages of stats on the 2009 season.

Jake Stewart – Winning in France with Groupama-FDJ

It’s been a year since we last spoke to Jake Stewart, he’d just finished second in the u23 Gent-Wevelgem and taken third spot in the Italian Trofeo Piva; since then he’s been round the u23 ‘Peace Race,’ ridden the Ronde de L’Oise, Tour Alsace, Tour de L’Avenir, jumped ship on British Cycling programmes, joined the Equipe continentale Groupama-FDJ and already won a race in France.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 2; York – Sheffield, 198 km. The Tour in Yorkshire and Nibali in Yellow

Astana’s design team may not have made a good job of that Italian champion’s jersey but it’s wearer, Vincenzo Nibali certainly made a good job of Stage Two of the 2014 Tour de France (aka The Tour in Yorkshire), catching an elite group napping with 1700 metres to go to take stage and GC glory. 'Shark Attack in Sheffield' said the ASO press release - we like that. The nay sayers were writing him off just a week or two ago but the man has won two of the three Grand Tours and has finished on the podium of all three – to underestimate him was folly.