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Copenhagen Six Day 2013 – Day Two

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There’s a boxing ring in the track centre here at the Copenhagen Six Day, apparently there are matches taking place on Saturday evening – and they present the riders up there.

Copenhagen Six Day
Boxing match introductions for the riders.

I snapped Big Bob and Marc Hester getting intro-ed; my Danish Crowns would have to be on Bob if he and Marc did go toe to toe.

Copenhagen Six Day
Guy and fellow ‘murcan Zach exchange at Copenhagen.

As Esther Phillips once said; ‘What a Difference a Day Makes’ – there I was eulogising about Michael Mørkøv and Lasse Norman when along came Leif Lampater and Luke Roberts and spoiled things.

Copenhagen Six Day
Leif Lampater.

Leif looked very strong in the first chase and Roberts is unspectacular but rock solid – as you would expect from a former world and Olympic team pursuit champion and record holder.

But before hostilities commenced, I was chatting to Dirk about equipment – what else?

Last year at Copenhagen, Iljo broke a rear axle in a Mavic carbon five spoke – you can’t buy a rear Mavic five spoke, they only sell them to Federations.

The front ones cost 2.500 Euros, so you can imagine what the rear ones cost.

Dirk tried to replace the axle – but they’re specials and no stock is held, they have a new axle turned as and when required.

When Dirk returned the wheel to Mavic Belgium in February they asked where it came from – each one is catalogued and carries individual markings inside the hub – and Dirk explained that Iljo had bought it from (best not say) and had no idea where the seller had got it from.

Because it was Iljo, they agreed to the repair and the wheel was duly returned – in October.

Moral of story: careful where you buy your Mavic five spokes from – and try not to break an axle, but if you do, don’t be in a rush to get it back.

Then I met Jesper Mørkøv – more bike chat.

Copenhagen Six Day
Our chum Jesper cruises inbetween efforts.

He’s tied up a deal Dolan for 2013 and his machines are cool – understated and professional.

He covets Mavic five spokes but was showing me his brother Michael’s Zipp 808’s – they’re made with the rim wider than the tyre so as the air flows smoothly over the rubber.

Copenhagen Six Day
The Zipp 808’s are pretty wide.

The wider rim also makes for a stronger and more rigid wheel – nice.

But there comes a time when you have to stop chatting about bikes and do some work…

Copenhagen Six Day
Seb Lander.

Sprint series, then a devil with Michael and Lasse Norman taking the points, despite Danish Elite Road Champion Sebastian Lander’s best efforts.

Lander beat all the Pro Pour riders to win on an appalling day, back in June.

Copenhagen Six Day
Michael attacks.

The 45 minute chase wasn’t a killer, Guy reckoned it was two kph slower than the night before – and as I said, Leif was the best looking man on the track.

Copenhagen Six Day
Michael and Lasse change.

At the end of the night Michael said he hadn’t had a good night – but he never lets his composure slide.

Copenhagen Six Day
Alex Aeschbach.

Alex Aeschbach was finding it tough, in his first race since Zürich and also the last of his career.

But he’s in much better shape than Robert Bartko, who’s had to pull out with a chest infection – we’re not sure if he’s completely out or just neutralised, we’ll know tonight (Saturday).

After all that gloom, it seems wrong to the mention the extended play version of Rik Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ which made me smile at half distance.

After the chase we had the weigh-in for the boxing, this was down in the programme for 20 minutes but actually that many seconds, sending us scurrying to get the boys into action.

Team pursuits in a Six Day? – yes, ‘double harness’ as we used to term it – with the final heat Mørkøv/Norman v. Roberts/Lampater.

In real ‘Worlds style’ the commissaire announced; ‘Monsieurs les coureurs, attention!’ as the gun was raised.

To the surprise of most, including me, it wasn’t the Danes who won; Roberts and Lampater looked well pleased with their eight laps and 2:20 of work.

The music was cool; Voyage, The Monkees, Patrick Hernandez – great tunes.

Push off in the Derny, I’m slipping, I usually manage to duck it, but it was Guy, so no problem.

Copenhagen Six Day
Olympic Champion Lasse Norman.

The new style eliminations are cool, just seven riders – brisk and exciting – especially with the Phil Oakey giving it, ‘Don’t You Want Me?

Copenhagen Six Day
Nick Stopler.

Gone midnight in the last chase and ‘Move Like Jagger’ is pretty much the perfect soundtrack.

Meanwhile the drunk guy sways, then finds a table to lean on – getting home is going be tough for him…

Copenhagen Six Day
Tino rescues his little baby bottles.
Copenhagen Six Day
Little Princess bottles!

Tino is a Kenny Deketele’s soigneur but is looking after Marcel Barth and a few others, here – but whilst we all use baby’s bottles to pass up drinks during the race, we do have reservations about his use of ‘little princess’ ones.

Copenhagen Six Day
Guy and Zack swap again.
Copenhagen Six Day
Our boy Benjamin.

The house isn’t half full – but on Saturday, Jesper would tell me that the organisation say they’re ‘up’ on both of the first two nights over the last three years.

And we’ve heard that the finale is a sell out.

At that time of night with a dwindling crowd it’s hard to get a great chase – even Kiss can’t lift the tempo.

Hand up the bottles, haul ‘em in, change them, take the washing down, back up, tidy the cabins – I’m going to enjoy that Tuborg, this night.

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.

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