Saturday, July 24, 2021
HomeDiariesInbetween Days, Rotterdam to Bremen

Inbetween Days, Rotterdam to Bremen


It’s an easy life on the Sixes; we bailed out of the truck stop at around 10:00 then drove for four hours to Bremen airport to collect 32-year-old American rider Bradley Huff – he’s one of our riders for the Bremen Six Day.

But Brad had been and gone – and his mobile is shot, making communication impossible.

But somehow he made it to the stadium.

The hall is a cracker, the 166 metre track fits neatly into the arena – it’s new laminated redwood board on aluminium box section portals.

Bremen Six Day
The track access door.

Whilst the track is the same size as Gent, the geometry is different – longer straights with tight, tight turns.

It’s not a track for big guys – but having said that, Bartko and Bengsch won last year – and they ain’t small!

The seats are close to the track, there’s a laser and light show and pillars which pump out flames – I’m looking forward to the first chase.

The cabin situation isn’t good – we’re upstairs, a long ways from the track, there’s no water supply upstairs and only two showers to service all of the support staff.

Bremen Six Day
Finishing touches are still getting done.

We had to go back to the airport for 16:40 to collect our second American, 23 year-old Jackie Simes.

Originally the two US riders were to ride together but the organisers have split them – Jackie rides with 21 year-old German, Theo Reinhardt and Bradley rides with 22 year-old Pole, Ralf Matzka.

The field is a strange one, on the face of it there are only two teams in it, Rotterdam winner Peter Schep and Robert Bartko plus Leif Lampater with a certain Iljo Keisse.

Our man Franco is partnered with young German Marcel Kalz – that’s not a podium team in my book.

Bremen Six Day
Marcel Kalz.
Bremen Six Day
Our boy Brad Huff.

Nor is Danny Stam & Erik Mohs – but an outside chance for the podium has to be Marc Hester & Andreas Muller.

Our fourth rider is Jesper Mørkøv – he rides with 22 year-old German, Thino Tommel.

Bremen Six Day
Kris and Jackie Simes.

But I guess the organisers know what they’re about?

The programme isn’t for the faint hearted with a 02:10 finish on Friday and an 01:40 finish on Monday.

And there’s a Saturday afternoon session – always a pain, hated by riders and staff alike.

Last year the programme was time trial heavy – a lot to do with why Bartko and Bengsch won, but this year it’s gone Derny daft with four (4!) Derny races each day.

Whilst Franco hates the Dernys, Jesper likes them – but it’s gonna be noisy.

It’s 10:30pm, the camper van is parked outside the hall and I think it’s time for bed.

At this time tomorrow night I’ll be getting deafened by Dernys – can’t wait.

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and 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. 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.

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