Sunday, September 19, 2021
HomeDiariesCopenhagen Six Day 2013 - Day One

Copenhagen Six Day 2013 – Day One

-

The cannon blasts, I push Guy off, wriggle my fat backside so as Bremen winner, Marcel Kalz doesn’t run me over and jog off the track. Those ‘Cara Mia’ bongos blast from the PA and make me smile; the lap board says ‘250’ and already the Schwalbes and Contis are roaring as the riders who started off the back straight fence hurtle into the home straight – welcome to the Copenhagen Six Day 2013.

Copenhagen Six Day 2013
The Team! Photo©Ed Hood

We have American riders Guy East – our man in Grenoble and Berlin, and Zach Kovalcik, cycle courier turned US Omnium Champion, who rode the ‘steher’ Six in Berlin and is paired with Guy for Copenhagen; plus solid German all rounder, Benjamin Edmuller.

It doesn’t take long for the status quo to be established as Michel Mørkøv zooms up the Cote d’Azur at the bottom of the track a dozen laps into the race.

Copenhagen Six Day 2013
Big Bob’s ‘no weel’. Photo©Ed Hood

Most riders on the track are sluggish after Berlin and the ensuing flights and ferries – and there’s illness, Robert Bartko for one is coughing and spluttering.

Copenhagen Six Day 2013
Michael tracks Marc. Photo©Ed Hood

But no such handicaps for the Saxo Home Boy who’s won here three times in the past; not last year though, when fellow Dane Marc Hester paired with the man who’s current king of the boards, but isn’t here due to road commitments – Iljo Keisse of Belgium.

But aforementioned Big Bob’s bad chest isn’t good news for Marc – last year’s winner and the big German on full fitness would be a formidable pairing.

Copenhagen Six Day 2013
Lasse Norman is a beast of a boy. Photo©Ed Hood

Michael is paired with Olympic Omnium Champion, Lasse Norman; if you watched that omnium then you’ll know that he’s one beast of a laddie – and only 20 years-old.

Copenhagen Six Day 2013
Par No.7 Photo©Ed Hood

Michael’s blood brother and partner here in their three wins, Alex Rasmussen, is still under suspension by the UCI over half-baked ‘whereabouts’ infringements.

Sometimes I almost feel sorry for the UCI and then I think about how unfairly they’ve treated Alex…

I sent him an email to tell him that we miss him; he assured me he’s training like a demon down in Girona and can’t wait to be get back into action.

The music is good in Copenhagen; Kool and the Gang, Alcazar, Rod Stewart, Kiss, Rick James, Sylvester – great madison music.

And on the boards it’s looking to me that the only question is; ‘who’ll be second?’

Probably Luke Roberts and Leif Lampater, the Aussie former team pursuit star has signed with a small German Continental team and has much more freedom to ride the Six Days; whilst Lampater is solid – if never having fully realised the promise of those heady early days when he regularly rode onto the podium with Erik Zabel.

They were the ones who looked to offer the most resistance to what looks like an inevitable Mørkøv win – one look at his gazelle legs, lean torso and tanned cheek bones tells you that he’s the fittest man in the hall by some margin.

Mørkøv/Norman win, no surprise and I suspect Michael just making it clear to everyone how it’s gonna be.

Copenhagen Six Day 2013
We’ve looked after Guy East before. Photo©Ed Hood
Copenhagen Six Day 2013
Zach rode the stayers races in Berlin, but is enjoying the full program here. Photo©Ed Hood

The schoolboys take to the track to let the guys recover – it was a sore one for Zach, they lost five laps despite Guy on damage limitation.

Copenhagen Six Day 2013
Benjamin is easy to look after. Photo©Ed Hood

A sprint series, Derny, elimination, 500 metre time trial – I don’t even see who wins; I’m too busy pushing riders in, hauling riders out, changing them and drying jerseys and vests.

There’s a DJ set and then the lap record attempt, a lot of 14 second efforts, some 13’s – the lap record is 12.834 to Robert Bartko in 2011.

Michael and Lasse look like they mean business, KASK helmets and millimetres between Michael’s back tyre and Norman’s front – and not much more than millimetres between their bars and the fence as AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’ hammers forth from the PA.

Copenhagen Six Day 2013
Lasse Norman is the track record holder. Photo©Ed Hood

High, smooth, purposeful and then comes the dive, the sling, Lasse breaks the beam, Jeez! he’s quick, bang! 12.6 – two tenths hacked off the record – if there was any doubt at all about Par nr. 7’s form, it was just erased.

Derny, Devil, ‘Balustrade’ – Dario G’s ‘Sunchyme’ pumps, the string tracks the fence, the crowd isn’t big but they do a good job of clapping along as Marcel Barth does his hands off ‘aeroplane’ thing at the front.

In Berlin he had a cape and crown – too much for a sad old purist like me.

There’s a 30 minute chase to close – but again I don’t know who won, Kris has bolted to start the washing and I have three riders to haul in and change then get all their stuff down to the cabin before helping with the washing.

Not a bad first night, did I tell you that they have a boxing ring in the track centre, no?

Copenhagen Six Day 2013
False Pizza? Photo©Ed Hood

OK, we’ll start with that tomorrow – just don’t forget Zach’s team mantra…

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

Amsterdam Six Day 2014 – Part Two; a Race and Rider Review

Kris maybe summed it up best; 'it felt like a Monday night at any another Six Day.' There was none of the tension or expectation which usually precedes the final chase in a Six. Granted, we weren't looking after riders who were in the mix for the win but it was indeed, 'just another chase.' Maybe it was because it was clear from the start that Terpstra was the strongest man on the track and there was only going to be one winner.

Gent Six Days 2011 – Night Six

On the one hand, the 18:00 finish is cool; but on the other, the lunch time kick off means that the last day is pretty hectic for the support staff. The result was never really in doubt and I thought that the last chase was poor. But I said all of that yesterday - and what I'm not taking account of is the huge gaps in the Six Day programme.

Copenhagen Six Day 2018 – Nights Four, Five and Six; it’s Mørkøv and De Ketele!

In a classic Six Day finale points shoot-out with the result not confirmed until the finish line, classy Home Boy Michael Mørkøv paired with the current Capo of the Six Day boards, Belgium's Kenny De Ketele to land his seventh Copenhagen Six Day at midnight on Tuesday on the wide boards of the 250 metre Ballerup track.

Shane Archbold – Focused Solely on the Omnium

For the Beijing Olympics in 2008 it was the kilometre which got the chop. For London 2012 the axe is bigger and sharper – the individual pursuit, points and madison all become historical footnotes. We caught up with New Zealander Shane Archbold to discuss this, the Olympics, and more...

The Legend that is Danny Clark

With all this Six Day chat we thought it might be nice to re-run this interview we did with Danny Clark some six years ago - jingz! where does time go? We hope you enjoy it...

Guy East – The American Pro Crazy About the Six Days

When do the boys at VeloVeritas stop thinking about the Six Days? When we’re sleeping; but sometimes we dream about them... A man who we've had the pleasure to work with and who impressed us with his speed and spirit is America's Guy East – and he’s crazier than us about the Sixes. We thought we’d give him a shout and see how he’s coping with a world of sunshine, no Euro pop, real food and proper toilets.

At Random

Strade Bianchi baby!

Strade Bianchi baby! The white roads of Tuscany get another run on the Pro Tour today. This is a relatively new one day classic, and an Italian take on the cobbled classics of the legendary Belgian spring.

Volta ao Alentejo

At the Volta ao Alentejo I spent the majority of every single stage on the front of the bunch controlling the race. All four days. Our sprinter was quite well placed to win the race, so I was quite happy to do this.

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.

Bad Day Of Racing – Johnny Hoogerland forced into barbed wire fence!

Ouch. What a tough day in the saddle for the boys, particularly Johnny Hoogerland. Everything was under control, with the break only a couple of minutes out in front, Thor getting over the climbs comfortably, and plenty of time to reel the break back in when BOOM! Zabriskie hit the deck, a couple of big hitters also went down from other teams (Kloden, Vino and VDB in particular) and there is a decision made to wait for everyone affected in the crash to catch back up.

John McMillan – Scottish Star of the 60’s and 70’s

When I started cycling back in 1971 I quickly learned that there were five men I should stand in awe of; Belgians, Eddy Merckx - no explanation necessary - and Patrick Sercu, world sprint champion, Olympic kilometre champion and Grand Tour stage winner; Danish super stylist, world hour record holder Ole Ritter; British 25 mile record holder, Alf Engers and long term Scottish 25 mile record holder, John McMillan. Over the years I’ve managed to get my picture taken with Eddy and Ole, interviewed Alf and have even had the odd chat with Patrick.

Silas Goldsworthy – on Track at the International Belgian Open

If you’re a regular VeloVeritas reader then you’ll be aware of top Scottish time trial rider, Silas Goldsworthy’s quest to qualify for the individual pursuit in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. We've just written about his victory in the classic Scottish event the Tour des Trossachs, but Silas' most recent opportunity to dip under the qualifying standard for the Games came in that Mecca for Six Day racing - Gent. But not on the tiny 167 metre Kuipke Velodrome where Sercu, De Wilde and Keisse have ruled down through the ages; but on the 250 metre covered track in Gent – scene of the ‘International Belgian Open.’ Those UCI rules just keep changing; and now riders have to qualify individually just to ride World Cups, never mind World Championships. We spoke to Silas after he’d had a chance to gather his thought about his excursion to VeloVeritas’s favourite city.