Sunday, July 25, 2021
HomeDiariesBremen Six Day 2019 - Nights Four, Five and Six

Bremen Six Day 2019 – Nights Four, Five and Six


Day Four

‘Easy like Sunday morning’ at the Bremen Six Day 2019?

Nae, nae, nae!” as they say in Belgium.

Bed was well past 02:00am with racing starting again at 11:00am – crazy.

The young Danish number seven Oliver Wulff wins the Devil; his dad is looking after him and they share a cuddle before every race.

Call me ‘old school’ but I think it’s cool.

Stand up for the Champions,’ the song that must have made Right Said Fred millionaires booms out for the presentations for the ladies’ Madison.

I missed that one, it was run off before our programme began; and I’m told Kirsten didn’t win – wow!

Bremen Six Day 201
Tristan Marguet and Simone Consonni. Photo©Ed Hood

The chase – not ‘full gas’ but not ‘potato’ either, with teams bleeding a couple of laps as Marguet/Consonni take the flowers.

The sprinters get Queen and Tony Christie, sounds like one of my old 70’s ‘mix tapes’ – Levy wins.

Derny one goes to Jesper Mørkøv and Derny two to Marguet/Consonni – they’re earning their contracts today.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Jonathan Mitchell takes more flowers. Photo©Ed Hood

I couldn’t face the nonsense of La-Ola but was cheered by that man Mitchell winning the Keirin – again.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Jesper Mørkøv and Christian Grasmann. Photo©Ed Hood

The Pussycat Dolls, ‘Dontcha’ is always a good Madison tune with Jesper Mørkøv & Christian Grasmann taking the honours.

Time for the 500 metre TT and the early times reflect the vibe in the cabins – tired.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Maximilian Beyer and Oliver Wulff Frederiksen. Photo©Ed Hood
Bremen Six Day 2019
Wim Stroetinga and Moreno de Pauw. Photo©Ed Hood

Our man Max’s partner, the young Dane, Wulff is well keen to win it, dons the POC aero hat and they go top, over hauling de Pauw/Stroetinga.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Simone Consonni. Photo©Ed Hood

Just Marguet/Consonni to come and the Italian’s big World Tour finish kick spoils team number seven’s dream. 

Iljo wins the closing Devil and we can all stumble back to the cabins – some to shower and head for a party and the sadder ones to tap laptop keys…

* * *

Day Five

I love my window in the cabin but sometimes it’s better not to see the snowstorm raging outside…

There were polemics after the first chase tonight – which Reinhardt/Hester won, they may well be at the top of the pile tomorrow night? – but some of today’s riders don’t have the political skills of a Bruno Risi, the ‘Capo’ of old, and should remember that no-one likes to be lectured.

It was a funny old night, as if everyone was still a little ‘flat’ from their early Sunday finish and just wanting for it to be Tuesday so it can be sorted out and everyone can go home.

My old amigo, Dirk the mechanic isn’t here for this Six, he’s now on road duty with his Trek team as the new season looms. 

I miss his tech chat but we did get a good old talk or two in Rotterdam so rather than the usual ‘who won what’ on an uninspired night, let’s have a look at the Six Day hardware scene… 

Bremen Six Day 2019
Benjamin Thomas’ 2018 machine. Photo©Ed Hood
Bremen Six Day 2019
Thomas’ bike last year looked solid, and light. Photo©Ed Hood

Last year in Rotterdam, French track specialist, Benjamin Thomas was riding a nice experimental aluminium machine – but no metal tubes to be seen anywhere this year – it’s 100% carbon at Rotterdam and Bremen.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Marc Hester. Photo©Ed Hood

And British decaled frames everywhere, who would have thought it? 

Liverpudlian Terry Dolan was Olympic and World Champion Chris Boardman’s builder of choice for many years.

Some, like Marc Hester wear their Dolan decals with pride.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Iljo Keisse’s machines are de-badged Dolan DF4s. Photo©Ed Hood

But some, with sponsorship issues in play, have to go down the ‘stealth’ route, as here in Iljo Keisse’s case.

Iljo went over to Dolan’s after seeing equipment fanatic Michael Mørkøv mounted upon one at the Copenhagen Six Day a few years back.

Word is that the next generation Dolan’s will feature integrated seat masts. 

Bremen Six Day 2019
Achim Burkart and Andreas Graf. Photo©Ed Hood

Cervélos are still a very popular platform too but many are ‘badge engineered’ away from their original marque.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

And on that subject, Eddy Merckx track frames are really Ridley ‘Arenas’ now that the Ridley has taken on board one of the most famous brand names in cycling.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

And whilst some seek to disguise their origins, Christian Grasmann’s Fuji goes in the other direction.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

For the big sprinters the weapon of choice is the Look, complete with one-piece carbon chainset.

The French frames predominate for the fast men and women at any World Cup, European or World Championship. 

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

But the Dutch Team Sprint big unit boys stay faithful to their home branded Koga Miyatas – maybe beginning to look a little dated though? 

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

On the subject of ‘dated,’ Jimmy Madsen brought one of the identical white Principias used by Michael Mørkøv and Alex Rasmussen to win the world Madison title in 2009 in Pruszkow to ride in the ‘golden oldies’ race – it still looks sharp.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

Cervélos came out of Canada and so too does Argon 18, possibly the fastest track frame out there – Denmark and Dan Bigham’s maverick HUUB boys have both retired their Cervélos in favour of Argons.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood
Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

An ‘external’ steerer as pioneered by Look with the extension tucked low into the head/top tube junction make them look very purposeful at the front and their rear stay design makes them much more flexible in terms of variety of disc wheels which can be ridden.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

Theo Reinhardt’s German FES has a similar, very aero front end and no need for tape on these ‘non slip’ bars – I wouldn’t want those bars coming against me in a crash though.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

The aero seat post fit is very neat with an allen key retaining bolt well down the seat tube – the seat pillar has to be cut to length as there’s an internal stop to stop it from slipping.

If you want to raise your seat height then a spacer has to be inserted inside the tube.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

And keeping it hi-tech, many now ride powermeter cranks on the track.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

Once upon a time, the only tubulars you would see at a Six Day were Continentals.

And whilst the German brand still has it’s devotees Italian Vittorias are now perhaps the most popular on the circuit.

Schwalbes were making headway for a time but have slipped in popularity, albeit there are one or two about.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

But some things never change; take the ‘shine’ off the cotton base tape with a ‘file’ bit to your cordless drill then two coats of adhesive on the tubular and three on the rim – remember to get it straight and true first time though.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

Mørkøv/Grasmann won the final chase and coming into the finale tomorrow night the standings looks like this:

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

Interesting – but Iljo/Jasper to win…

* * *

Day Six

Maybe I’ve seen too many Six Days?

Maybe I’m turning into one of those guys Springsteen sings about in, ‘Glory Days?’

Bremen Six Day 2019
Bruno Risi and Franco Marvulli at their height, together winning Six Days.
Bremen Six Day 2019
Peter Schep was always much in demand at the Sixes. Photo©John Young

Maybe I miss Bruno, Franco at his best, Big Bob Bartko, Slippens, Stam, Schep, Gilmore, Villa and the rest too much?

Bremen Six Day 2019
Peter Post at the 1971 Skol Six. Photo©John Pierce / PhotoSport International UK USA Asia

And further back to my youth, Post, Gilmore, Clark, Allan, De Wilde, Duyndam, Karstens and Sercu – but they ain’t never coming back.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Etienne de Wilde on the Gent boards in 1997. Photo©John Pierce / PhotoSport International UK USA Asia

On the subject of “The Flemish Arrow” [Patrick Sercu], I heard today he’s in a care home and very weak. So sad.

We saw him in a nocturne at Concarneau in 1974, in his Tour green jersey, Brooklyn shorts and matching black and white patent leather shoes and crash hat, his legs the colour of teak – no-one had to tell you that you were in the presence of greatness.

The Good Old Days” but that doesn’t alter the fact that we have a house which is anything but full and no ‘buzz.’

The last night should be nervous, tense, twitchy – it’s none of those.

It’s ‘flat’ – no sense of occasion.

But why should the public leave their homes on a Tuesday night to watch this?

Cav is a ‘name’ in London, Iljo in Gent; Niki Terpstra in Rotterdam, Rheinhardt here and in Berlin, maybe – but better if Big Roger was with him in Berlin – Michael Mørkøv in Copenhagen.

Buy you need them all together across all the races, knocking lumps out of each other and that’s not going to happen; the road season kicks off in Australia as the year turns.

The road season rules all, the track is secondary and with the World Cups competing with the Six Days for the best track men, that makes it even tougher to put quality fields together.

And the road ‘names’ who in old days in the winter made money in the Sixes all get paid so much money now that they figure it’s not worth their while to ride the boards.

Imagine if you had Peter Sagan in your Six Day, it would be, ‘house full’ every night.

And there’s so much more entertainment available for folks, the internet, social media and availability of dozens of TV channels has changed the face of how people use their time, forever.

Rant over, as the clock passes midnight and we trundle south on the autobahn.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Photo©Ed Hood

If truth be told, it wasn’t the worst final I’ve ever seen but I have seen better.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Iljo Keisse and Jasper de Buyst. Photo©Ed Hood

As expected, Iljo & Jasper took the victory with the best points total AND a lap.

Few riders seem keen on suspenseful finales these days.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Marc Hester and Theo Reinhardt. Photo©Ed Hood

Marc Hester & Theo Reinhardt took second; they launched a huge late attack but the speaker didn’t seem to realise that even if they went level on laps they still had a big points deficit.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Simone Consonni and Tristan Marguet. Photo©Ed Hood

Final spot on the podium went to rapid Italo/Swiss duo Simone Consonni & Tristan Marguet.

Bremen Six Day 2019
Achim Burkhart and Andreas Graf. Photo©Ed Hood

Our boy Achim Burkhart with partner Andreas Graf grabbed a little joy from the evening with a win in the last Devil – but was disappointed not to make the podium, finishing fourth.

Berlin next with much reduced Stayer programme – that won’t help the crowd numbers.

Then Copenhagen with a reduced quality field because it clashed with the Madison Group’s Three Day in Melbourne – which is now cancelled due to the fact the organisers didn’t realise it takes six weeks to obtain a work visa for Australia.

What I need is a good, tough finale in Gent to re-ignite my love affair with the ‘races to nowhere.’


Will I be there?

Of course…

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

Dieter Kemper

It was British former motor pace rider, Six Day and road man Norman Hill who informed us of the passing of one of the Six Day Greats, at the age of 81 years; a true ‘all-rounder’ and one of the all-time Six Day Greats, ‘Rest in Peace' Dieter Kemper.

Kenny De Ketele, World Madison Champ – “Track racing is my passion”

Just before his dominant performance in the Four Days of Grenoble finale with Iljo Keisse, World Madison Champion, Kenny De Ketele took time to talk to VeloVeritas. De Ketele has been around the track scene for a long time, always there and knocking on the door. But it was the winter of 2011/12 when the man from Oudenaarde finally arrived.

Grenoble Six Day 2011 – Sixth Night

Last day - it's not a big programme, sprint series, team time trial and the closing 180 lap chase. By six day standards that's not a long chase, around 38 K - at Copenhagen they have 300 lappers on a 250 track - but here, it's heavy duty for the small teams. Franco reckons that Kris and I should have dinner in the track centre, tonight - well, it sounded good to me.

Rotterdam Six Day 2012 – Day Four

It's Day four at the Rotterdam Six Day 2012, and like it says on the report cards; 'could do better!' We're referring of course to 'our Alex's' time keeping - he missed the rolling presentation on Sunday. It's not a huge deal because at the time he had no partner, poor Stöpler having crashed out.

Peter Traynor – The Man Behind the Madison Music

If you ever decide to promote a Six Day race there's a check list you'll have to go through. Start with a short steep indoor track; the best riders you can afford; food and drink concessions; a cool light show; a good 'speaker'; maybe some live acts-but one of your key ingredients will be music. Enter Peter Traynor, originally from the Wirral Peninsula across the Mersey River from Liverpool - the city that gave us the Beatles and the 'Mersey Sound'.

Gent Six Day 2012 – Finale Snapshots

Snapshots from the Gent Six Day 2012, as we roam around the city and spend time with the winners in the bar.

At Random

Le Tour de France, Stage 4: Cambrai – Reims; Ale Again

Le Tour de France Stage 4 from Cambrai and Dean was good, very good, team mate Hunter finished fastest, swooshing clear of them all - but after the line. Garmin sprinter patron Tyler Farrar sat up to peer over the sea of heaving numbers to see how his boys had done.

The Carnage Continues – TDF 2012 St 4

Andre Greipel, the big man with enough horsepower to be a chance at beating Cav in a straight sprint took the stage win today. We, the fans unfortunately didn’t have tthe chance to see the two great men going head to head as they did on Stage 2 (one of the best sprints I’ve ever seen) as Cav was caught in a crash and hit the road a couple of km from the finish. The Carnage Continues...

Steve Skuse and James Whatling – Introducing the New Twenty3c Orbea Racing Team

We've always had a soft spot for Orbea at VeloVeritas-we like the Basque country and the fact that it's a workers co-operative; last year the bikes from Euskadi appeared in the UK peloton as 'Orbea-For Goodness Shakes' but for 2011 the incarnation is 'Twenty3c Orbea.' DS Steve Skuse and manager James Whatling are the men who'll be guiding them in their assault on the Premier Calendar. They recently took time to chat to VeloVeritas...

Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007

Jason Macintyre (Edge RT) made it a 'double-double' on Sunday morning as he successfully defended his Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007 with 51:58 on a sunny but airy Irvine by-pass, the win coming just two weeks after he retained his British 25 mile title.

Mara Abbott – “I’ve always been very determined to forge my own path”

Mara Abbott is twice a winner of the overall GC in the Giro Rosa, picking up seven stages along the way not to mention two second places, a fourth, a fifth and 10th on GC. Abbott retired from the sport after finishing fourth in the Olympic Road Race in Rio, 2016. She took time to speak to us not long after her retirement; here’s what she had to say.

Peter Murphy – the Kingsnorth Wheelers; Belgian Kermis Kings

The World Tour, the pinnacle; but unless you're a super talent nurtured from your junior years a la Taylor Phinney or Bradley Wiggins, how do you take the first step up the mountain where only the Super Teams can breathe the rarefied air? Well, you could do a lot worse that speak to a certain Peter Murphy - Jack Bauer did and the rest is history. Peter is one of the men behind Kingsnorth Wheelers - the Flandrian team with the English name.