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2009

Rotterdam Six Day Event

Jeroen Westerink and I headed the short distance from Delft to Rotterdam to watch the opening night of the Rotterdam Six Day on 2 January. After a long absence this event restarted in 2005 and is definitely a bigger and more professional affair than the Amsterdam one that Phil Morris and I went to see a few times earlier in the decade. Anyway the surprise of the night for me (except for having to pay 2.75 euros for less than half a pint!) was that Chris Hoy was riding in the sprint series that takes place at intervals between the main event. He was knighted just a couple of days earlier but here he was in his world champion jersey and was still on top form, winning the three events I saw him ride. Competitors included former world champion Theo Bos who is definitely beginning to slow after deciding to switch to the road - not sure how wise this is, but maybe that’s the effect of the British Cycling team on the rest of the world these days! Here’s a short film of Chris beating fellow Brit and Olympic gold medal winner Jason Kenny.

 

The Dutch commentators overdid the ‘Sir Chris Roy’ stuff a bit but the crowd lapped it up. Other items of note from the night was the participation of Thomas Dekker who now rides for Lotto after leaving Rabobank on bad terms. It was quite clear that he didn’t have much in the way of track experience compared to his much lesser know partner Mauris, and Dekker typically lost all the places Mauris had worked so hard for in the madison events. Dekker was hanging a few bike lengths off the back most of the time which says a lot for his fitness, but isn’t handy tactically speaking. His hand slings were also rather poor and girl like. However at the end of the night, he was riding noticeably better. Still a class act.

[Tom Loved The Bike] [2008] [2009]