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.

Related Articles

Rotterdam Six Day 2011 – Day Four, No Windows, No Clocks

The theme from 'Star Wars' plays as the U23 riders victory ceremony gets underway - not long 'til the lunch time kick off. I haven't seen much of the U23 event, the riders don't share the area we're in and when their racing is on I'm usually busy getting our cabin set up. There's more of that confusing team changing thing going on again - Terpstra is now with Lampater who was with Stroetinga until he crashed.

Rotterdam Six Day 2011 – Day Two, Iljo and Kenny Take Over. Uh-oh.

Here at the Rotterdam Six Day 2011 the buzz off iljo's rollers fills my ears as I write this; despite the best efforts of the UCI, he's still here and looking sharp. My amigo, Dirk the mechanic was telling me that Iljo is retaining two of the three best lawyers in Belgium - I'm glad I'm not paying the bills.

Rotterdam Six Day 2012 – Day Two

It's not a proper Six Day unless it's a marathon to get there - and really you should arrive in a different country. My journey to the Rotterdam Six Day 2012 meant a super-early start, Transit van to West Craigs, cab to Edinburgh airport, plane to Amsterdam, train to Rotterdam, Metro to the Ahoy Stadium - then walk across the road.

Rotterdam Six Day 2011 – Day Six, It’s Danny’s Name Painted on the Fence Again

Rotterdam Six Day 2011 - it's approaching midnight, we're in the camper, headed north out of Holland to Bremen in Germany on a pan flat, black motorway. Kris is headed for the Six Days of Bremen to work with Franco Marvulli (fingers crossed that he's well) and Jens-Erik Madsen.

Rotterdam Six Day 2012 – Day Four

It's Day four at the Rotterdam Six Day 2012, and like it says on the report cards; 'could do better!' We're referring of course to 'our Alex's' time keeping - he missed the rolling presentation on Sunday. It's not a huge deal because at the time he had no partner, poor Stöpler having crashed out.

Rotterdam Six Day 2011 – Day Five, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

At the Rotterdam Six Day 2011 and I'm sitting next to this chap, drinking my coffee, eating my Vacansoleil cookie and thinking; 'I should know who he is, he's the double of Ezequiel Mosquera.' Then the penny dropped; it was Old Zeke, in person, my - now tarnished - hero from the Vuelta.

At Random

Michael Nicolson – Showing Grinta in Belgium

When I get calls from both of our men who trawl the Belgian palmares websites – Vik and Dave – in the one day about a performance, I know it must be a good ride. Michael Nicolson’s 14th place in the tough GP Stad Zottegem over 182 kilometres behind Slovenian hard man Blaz Jarc (NetApp-Endura) with Vacansoleil duo Wouter Mol (The Netherlands) and 2012 Paris-Tours winner Marco Marcato (Italy) third and fifth respectively, certainly falls into that category.

Turned Tables

Turned Tables. For the past couple of years, Garmin have been on the back foot in the sprints at the Tour particularly. The HTC train has been dominant, they've won the Teams TTs at most Grand Tours, and Cav has just been winning sprints at will. The Garmin squad has had some shocking injuries, have just been on the wrong side of the TTs, and despite being at times agonisingly close, Ty hasn't been able to get Cav.

Bremen Six Day 2019 – Nights Four, Five and Six

The Bremen Six Day 2019 is done and dusted. If truth be told, it wasn't the worst final I've ever seen but I have seen better. As expected, Iljo & Jasper took the victory with the best points total AND a lap.

Tyler Storms the Scheldeprijs

"I didn't have good legs," said Tyler Farrar after his surprise victory in the Scheldeprijs today,"but my team did such a great job that I felt I had to give something back in the sprint."

Mike Greaves – HiVelo; a Velodrome in the Scottish Highlands

Recently we ran a piece about Dave Viner’s efforts to get an indoor velodrome built for Birmingham. ‘Unknowns to us’ at the time, there’s a similar project trying to get off the ground much closer to home – the City on the Ness to be specific. We spoke to Mike Greaves, one of the men behind the project...

The VV View: French Senate Report – Justice isn’t meant to be a Lottery

The release of the French Senate Report ‘findings’ on the ’98 Tour – why do it now, what do it at all? What’s the point, other than to create a mess and give Brian Cookson a fresh crock of manure to hurl at Pat? Justice is not meant to be a lottery – of course it’s not right that the riders named cheated but what can we do now?