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Berlin Six Day 2012 – Day Six


The line of taxi lights stretches back into the darkness like a string of pearls, it’s beautiful in an a big city kind of a way – it could be a scene from a Woody Allen film; but it’s not Manhattan, it’s Berlin at 01:40am. We’re here for the Berlin Six Day 2012.

The beige Merc cabs get to drive down to the underground Velodrom entrance to pick up ViPs, meanwhile the support staff – that’s us – have to hi-jack a supermarket trolley and use the lift to take our stuff up to the camper.

Berlin Six Day 2012
Luxury packing in our game.

But it’s not as if it’s cold at minus 9.8 degrees and that wind’s last stop was the Steppes.

Brad Huff flies home to his Jelly Belly training camp in the morning; Silvan Dillier heads for Tenerife and warm weather training; Franco Marvulli heads for the post race party (there’s a surprise) before flying to Copenhagen tomorrow and Jackie Simes is driving to Copenhagen with the Czechs.

He was meant to drive with us, but the old camper is wheezing a bit and whilst it’s OK for two old fools like us to get stranded in the frozen wilds of Northern Germany, Jackie has a Six Day to ride.

He was meant to ride Copenhagen with Bobby Lea but Bobby has scratched with tendonitis of the knee so Jackie rides with ex-Milram Grand Tour rider, Bjorn Schröder.

Berlin Six Day 2012
“The Huff”.

But what about the race ?‘ I hear you ask.

What about it, indeed. Maybe I’m turning into Viktor, maybe I’ve seen to many chases or can’t forget those swirling Skol Six maelstroms back in the 70’s ?

But whatever it is, I didn’t think the chases were good.

If you had measured the crowd decibels then the chase finales would come a distant third to the sprinters and the stayers.

The Aussie world champions won, a hard thing to do, coming straight into a Six with ‘road legs’ and winning.

Berlin Six Day 2012
Congratulations to Cam and Leigh. Photo©Ed Hood

Franco & Silvan were second and Iljo & Kenny De Ketele third.

Berlin Six Day 2012
Ed and Kris’ boys were second – pretty good. Photo©Ed Hood
Berlin Six Day 2012
Iljo and Kenny rode into third place. Photo©Ed Hood

Kluge & Lampater and Bengsch & Kalz were the other top teams – but no one seemed capable of imposing themselves on the race.

But let’s go back to this morning…

It’s a beautiful morning in Berlin but the air nips at your ears and the inside of your nose – minus 8.5 degrees.

A magpie chats to us as we load the camper with the non- essentials.

The other soigneurs and mechanics are doing the same thing, there’s a little banter – but not much, it’s too cold and everyone is too tired.

Berlin Six Day 2012
Over to our left the stainless steel of the TV mast towers over us, the Berliners have an affectionate but rather rude name for it. Photo©Ed Hood

There always mixed feelings on the last day; maybe you’ve had enough of the stadium and that particular round of politics – and it’s no hardship to bid farewell to our concrete block cell and prison bed.

But at the same time, you build up a relationship with your little bubble and become comfortable within it.

But the road to the Baltic and the islands of Denmark call.

Just to make life interesting, the camper is playing up a little, we think that dud fuel is the cause – let’s hope so.

The days pass quickly – you lose the best of it by sleeping late, but with a 03:00 am bed time there’s little choice – by the time the chores and shopping are done and the journo bit taken care of, it’s time to eat and almost show time.

There’s only one chase tonight – the grand finale, 60 minutes. I hope it sparkles.