It’s gone 1:00AM here and I thought we could have a look at the Berlin Six Day Bikes; the Dernys buzz their ‘Ipcress’ noise, Brad eases down off the fence, he takes the sling off Jackie, tucks in behind the little monster and Mr. Simes is done for the night.
Brad has 25 laps to go with just a few knots of hardcore fans in the stands to watch him — and the drinkers in the track centre, naturally.
‘That’s the first time this week the driver hasn’t ripped the legs off me!’ says Jackie as he gets ready for the dash to the cabin, a shower and then the peace of the hotel room.
Brad says the same — a good night for the men from the land where the madison was invented, then.
They held their own in the chases and however hard the race there’s still good banter in the cabin.
And for Kris and the runner it’s our last washing of the Six Day, tonight; always good reason to have a beer.
If you done a few Sixes over a winter it can all get a bit familiar and you can end up taking it for granted.
But tonight as I waited at the start line for Franco with his helmet, glasses and mitts at the ready as he and Silvan rode their lap of honour as race leaders, ‘Stand Up For The Champions’ hammered out, I looked up at the amazing steel roof which covers the track, took in the lights, the track centre ViP lounge, the bars, the crowded stands and thought to myself that for all the potato chases, politics and pompous people who inhabit this world, there’s still nothing quite like a Six Day.
Somehow I missed the fact that Robert Forstemann broke the track record last night — 12.702.
But the crowd go crazy for all the sprinters’ rides, I don’t speak German and I have four riders to look after – so maybe it’s not such a surprise that I didn’t take it on board
Kris extracted that nugget from the paper for me, they do the race proud — three colour pages each day.
I made the amateur runner mistake of putting the wrong jersey on Silvan when I changed him, he’s black number but I gave him one of Franco’s reds.
In the early days I’d have panicked and worried about it all night, but now I just offer up my bum for Silvan to take a kick at — it’s a big target.