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Rotterdam Six Day 2012 – Day Five; Dernys


Dernys, you love them or you hate them, they’re a big part of the Sixes; and always with a capital ‘D’ — Roger Derny et Fils first manufactured them in Paris, in: 1938. There’s some real Derny history on the boards here at the Rotterdam Six Day — the tall, slim, grey haired man who chases the riders up to their events here at the is Bruno Walrave.

Bruno has seen it all before.

Bruno was a Derny driver until recently but was also one of the big motor drivers before the UCI binned the event as a World Championship event.

On the one hand, that was sad, because a big motor battle on a big, fast, outdoor concrete track is something to see – but on the other hand, it was inevitable in an event where athletic prowess was secondary to how much someone else had bunged your driver.

The machinations behind the scenes were like a Dan Brown novel with riders thinking they’d bought a driver off, only to discover on race day that someone else’s brown paper envelope had been fatter.

Bruno was unique in that motor and Derny pacing was his only job — all the other drivers had a job in the ‘real’ world.

Jesper and Pieters.
van Bon and Lampater.

Still zooming round the boards like a demented Super Mario character is Derny legend Joop Zijlaard, he owns two restaurants in Rotterdam, one serves fish and the other steaks — but if you have a Six Day and there are Dernys involved, he’ll be there.

Joop Zijlaard doing what he does best.

The Dernys here are 100cc Puch engined with 24” front/26” rear wheels — and not as noisy as some.

The Devil [‘De’il’ in Scots, or ‘Elimination’, or Afvalkoers in Dutch]: — we win, wow!

It’s unusual for anyone but a Dutch guy to win the Derny or Devil but Jesper ensures we have flowers in the cabin.

The sprinters drag those big gears round the slow running board in anticipation of the flying lap; Lakatosh 11.1 — same as it ever was.

Lakatosh is from Trexlertown, home of the famous velodrome but now lives in California where he’s on the US team under the stewardship of ex-GB team sprint and keirin star, Jamie Staff.

Mulder gets home support, 10.5 — that’s not bad.

Lakatosh and Mulder.

Sireau, a big man, but not muscle bound, long limbed, you can see the power in his lower back as he levers that Look up on to the banking.

He looks good, scuffing the fence, focussed, he dives, it’s spinning, the line is good, he kicks — 10.297.

Track record!

Up until Kevin’s front wheel broke the beam our own Chris Hoy was the lap record holder, the speaker handles this in dignified fashion;

‘Bye, bye, Sir Chris!’

Minutes after the effort Sireau is still breathing heavily, just 10 seconds of effort but he burned up a huge amount of oxygen in that one lap.

We get a visitor, Regilio Tuur a lightweight boxer, born in Surinam, originally from Rotterdam he now lives in New York; an Olympian in 1988 he’s been a European and World Champion as a pro.