Sunday afternoon at the Bremen Six Day, but no Sunday Post or relaxed breakfast on this watch.
The Dernys drone, the speaker bellows himself hoarse, there’s a wiff of vomit in the air – one of those wasted guys I saw last night must have been creative with where they threw up so the cleaners couldn’t get to it – but there’s a Kool And The Gang medley flowing from the PA – ‘Let’s go Dancin‘ and ‘Celebration‘ – good sounds, so mustn’t grumble.
I didn’t see it but the UiV was crazy today, four crashes with one rider carted off to hospital.
‘Our’ man who we looked after in Zurich (in the Elite Six), Dominik Stucki, won overall but he wasn’t feeling too clever today and just defended his lead.
I was talking to the British lads this morning and they were gee-ed up for it, but one of them went down hard in the crash and they had to settle for fifth on the day and fifth overall.
Franco was saying that of all the winter boards, these are the toughest ones to master; along with Gent, this is the shortest track – but the straights are longer and the turns tighter than in the capital of Flanders.
Jesper was saying that he finds it hard to keep ‘full gas’ in the turns – he drives the straights hard but has to ‘cruise’ the bankings.
Marc Hester was telling Jesper that it took him a few years of Six Day racing before he mastered being able to put all the power down all around the bankings in Bremen.
And we haven’t bored you with the Bremen stats quite yet, the Six here goes back to 1965 when Palle Lykke & Rik Van Steenbergen won; this is edition #48 with Dutchman Rene Pijnen the “recordman” on seven wins.
Germany’s Albert Fritz won six times as did countryman Andreas Kappes and much missed ‘Schweiz’ Bruno Risi.
There are six ex-winners riding, Bartko, Bengsch, Lampater, Keisse, Stam and Marvulli.
But who’ll win this year?
It won’t be decided today – Monday is always the big ‘sort out’ but I’d put my money on Bartko & Schep.
Their combined age is 70, respectively 36 and 34 with a total of 117 Sixes between them – 69 and 48; winning 22 of those – 19 and 3.
The main opposition is Lampater & Keisse, combined age 58, both 29 on 122 Sixes – 57 and 65; winning 21 – 6 and 15.
Lampater had a brilliant Six Day debut but hasn’t won a Six since his purple patch in the Zabel days.
Iljo is the ‘man of the winter’ so far, hardly missing a podium.
But it’s Germany, “Potsdam Bear” Bartko is a more forceful personality than southerner Lampater and I think the verdict will go the big man’s way – the fact that Schep is as strong as he is doesn’t harm his cause.
The Sunday afternoon racing wasn’t tough – but some of the acts were.
There were the yodellers, the cosmonaut meets abattoir labourer with the oven gloves (!), and finally the three bucksome lasses who sang ’99 Red Balloons’ – actually, they weren’t bad at all.
After the session we had the usual wait for Franco, I got my pictures organised and Kris watched Sherlock Holmes.
I could tell you about the late night incident with the police and… well, maybe not.
It’s for real tomorrow – don’t miss it!
Bremen Six Day - Results from Day Four
1 Franco Marvulli / Marcel Kalz (Swi/Ger) öVB 204 pts
2 Peter Schep / Robert Bartko (Ned/Ger) swb 197
@ 1 Lap
3 Leif Lampater / Iljo Keisse (Ger/Bel) Sparkasse 190
4 Marc Hester / Andreas Müller (Den/Aut) Big Cash / Moneymaker 139
@ 2 Laps
5 Alois Kankovsky / Robert Bengsch (Cze/Ger) Eisbären Bremerhaven 167
6 Danny Stam / Eric Mohs (Ned/Ger) Schmidt+Koch 126
@ 5 Laps
7 Milan Kadlec / Marcel Barth (Cze/Ger) Germania 137
@ 7 Laps
8 Christian Grasmann / Rafal Ratajczyk (Ger/Pol) becker+brügesch 77
@ 9 Laps
9 Jesper Morkov / Tino Thömel (Den/Ger) Weser Kurier 65
@ 15 Laps
10 Benjamin Edmüller / Roy Pieters (Ger/Ned) Klaus Lorenz 45
@ 16 Laps
11 Jack Simes / Theo Reinhardt (USA/Ger) LOTTO 58
@ 17 Laps
12 Brad Huff / Ralf Matzka (USA/Ger) radio bremen 71