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Berlin Six Day 2012 – Day Four


The Berlin Six Day 2012 and Jackie summed it up best when I asked if he’d slept well; ‘yeah, but just not long enough!’ But Dirk had a take on it too; ‘why can’t we just go straight from Saturday to Monday?’ There’s always a downbeat Johnny Cash-kind-of-vibe to Sunday afternoons sessions; ‘the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad, so I had one more for dessert.’

But once the shower blasts and the coffee blends, it’s not so bad.

Berlin Six Day 2012
Berlin 101.

We had a wine gum melt down and Kris had to go up above-ground to fetch a fresh bag from the camper — but we had to let them thaw, it’s well below freezing of an evening in Berlin.

Our wine gum shortage wasn’t helped by the likes of Leigh Howard helping himself — those GreenEdge guys!

Berlin Six Day 2012
A focused Leigh Howard. Oy, leave our sweeties alone!

We don’t sleep in the camper here, there’s no electrical hook up and it’s just too cold to sleep up there — minus seven on Monday morning, with the sun up.

It’s all a tad ‘Dr. Strangelove’ with concrete passages, huge doors, no windows and it’s really bad for the sinuses — I’ll not go into detail on that point.

Just as the chase started, old Guilaume Michiels threw a fit at his helpers; he’s 76 but built like some old Flemish bull.

Berlin Six Day 2012
Guillaume has hands like a bear and no one was giving him any back chat — Ed kept a discrete distance.

He was Merckx’s soigneur and accompanied Eddy to Mexico when he broke the hour record.

He’s not big on small talk and despite the fact that he’s being looking at me for six or seven years still eyes me with suspicion; ‘journaliste, eh?!

Berlin Six Day 2012
Silvan catches up on his emails in the press room.

At a time when most folks are reading the Sunday papers, the chase kicked off, 45 minutes — and it wasn’t the best.

Having said that, you never get death racing on a Sunday and it’s OK for me to lounge besides the banking whilst Jackie and Brad have to hold that whirling string.

The pace isn’t slow, but the track is big and wide and a 16 team field is lost, 20 would be better and perhaps a more balanced field — take a rider like Müller and put him with someone of good ability, don’t use him as the ‘taxi driver’.

He was strong in Bremen with Marc Hester.

Berlin Six Day 2012
Meyer towels down after a hard fought Derny win.

Which brings us on to Berlin being a ‘Dane free zone’ — the organisers didn’t let Alex Rasmussen ride due to his ‘whereabouts’ hassles.

They asked Michael Mørkøv if he’d like to ride, he replied; ‘only with Alex!

So no Alex or Michael and so by extension Marc Hester or Jesper Mørkøv — no comment from me, I have to get to the end of this race.

When you’re standing besides the banking and witness a Keisse/De Ketele change, it really is impressive; Iljo’s slings are one of the best on the track, catapulting Kenny into the fray like a rocket.

Berlin Six Day 2012
Marvulli’s exchanges with Dillier are pretty good too.

Derny time; the crowds love them, most riders don’t like them and people like me don’t even notice them anymore.

Franco rode the first 25 laps, then changed to Silvan — the younger man came in and launched into a rant in Swiss German about his ‘chauffeur’ and how he’d been screaming at him to speed up, but to no avail.

Franco hardly looked up from his 200th iPhone message of the day and shrugged his shoulders in a; ‘that’s the Dernys!’ kind of a way.