Sunday, September 19, 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 2012 – Day Six, and it’s Peter Schep on top

Peter Schep / Wim Stroetinga win, Franco and Mouris second, Stam/Havik third - a result which everyone is pretty happy with. The Dutch winners are the classic Six Day combo - big, strong, mature, silky smooth Peter Schep and the younger, smaller, more erratic but rapid Stroetinga.

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 2020 Finale

Ed parachuted in to the Rotterdam Six Day 2020 on Tuesday afternoon to help Kris break camp and load the camper in anticipation of driving up to Bremen and the Six Day which started there on Thursday evening. When you wander up the tunnel stairs and into the track centre at Rotterdam with the u23’s hurtling round, the lights blazing and the PA pumping it’s still damn cool...

Rotterdam Six Day 2011 – D Minus 1

"Hello Mr. Sercu, how's life?" I ask at the Rotterdam Six Day 2011. "Well, I'm still alive!" comes the reply. He's a 'glass half empty' kind of a guy is Patrick, sometimes. But he's sport director here at the 6-daagse Rotterdam and not to be messed with. And he has a lot on his mind; his 'boy' Iljo Keisse may be smiling out at me from the 'programmakrant;' but there's no one smiling at UCI HQ in Switzerland. They've instructed Frank Boele, the organiser here, that Iljo is not to start...

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 2018 – Kenny and Moreno win by four laps – but why?

Forgive me if all I do these days is moan about Six Day finales. But ... As Chelsea Dagger by the Fratellis booms out of the PA the scoreboard tells me Kenny De Ketele and Moreno De Pauw are FOUR laps clear in the last chase at the Rotterdam Six Day 2018. It's a real cliff hanger ...

At Random

Mickey Morrison – how ANC-Halfords got to the Tour de France

It’s the stuff of cycling folklore; the year was 1987 and a British trade team lined up in Berlin for the start of the world’s biggest bike race. ANC-Halfords was the name on the jersey and the team's presence was largely down to Mickey Morrison, a good amateur rider in the 70’s who brought major sponsors into UK cycling but who’s contribution is largely forgotten...

Giro d’Italia Team Time Trial; 4 Hr Race – 4 Sec Difference

Yesterday was the Giro d'Italia Team Time Trial (TTT) a 33km shot through northern Italy where teams departed five minutes apart and raced the clock up the road. The order of starting was based on the overall standing of the best three riders from each team, with the slowest team going first, and the team of the race leader going last (regardless of how their team was faring).

Copenhagen Six Day 2011 – Day Two, the Famous ‘Par nr. 7’ Tricots

Saturday, 13:20 - the afternoon sesh starts in a few minutes but there's a distinct lack of riders; this reflects in their (and their runners') lack of enthusiasm for afternoon sessions - but more of that tomorrow. Again, it wasn't the greatest of madison racing last night, our guys in their Par nr. 7 tricots, but it's hard for the guys to raise their game if most of the house seats are empty. Michael reckons that ticket sales for Saturday night are good - let's hope so.

Paul McHugh – “Big Mac”, the Show-Stopper

Before ‘The Plan,’ Britain had a sprinter who looked like he was the real thing. He had the bulldog build, the aggression and fast twitch muscles; but most importantly - the stopwatch confirmed that he was seriously quick. It wasn’t until the likes of Craig Maclean and Sir Chris Hoy came along that Paul McHugh’s British 200 metres record was beaten.

Ruaraidh McLeod – Lots of Time in the Gutter!

For 2009, our 'Kiwi discovery' was Jack Bauer - who will it be this year? Clinton Avery ? Or this man, who has a great Scottish name, but is also from the land of the long white cloud; Ruaraidh McLeod.

Matt Rendell – “I want to X-ray the Colombian National Psyche”

That Matt Rendell bloke, who’s on the tele, always asking folk questions? Isn’t it time someone asked him some questions? Especially since he’s got a new book out about one of his passions; Colombian Cycling – ‘Colombia Es Pasion’...