Monday, June 24, 2024

Grenoble Six Day 2010, Night Four – Good Morale at the Track

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HomeDiariesGrenoble Six Day 2010, Night Four - Good Morale at the Track

Dirk, you’re working on the bikes early today,” says me at the Grenoble Six Day 2010. “Yes, I must finish early so I can watch the darts on BBC TV in my camper van!” I didn’t expect that answer.

He was telling me that the new Look 496 track frame costs in excess of 6,000 euros and there’s a waiting list; they only build to order.

They are beautiful though and as Dirk says; ‘it’s the best bike for the sprint and it’s a genuine European product.

Grenoble Six Day 2010
If you like track bikes, you’ll love this.
Grenoble Six Day 2010
Beautiful workmanship, and finishing.
Grenoble Six Day 2010
One day, all bike steerers will be made this way. Maybe.

It’s cool and grey in Grenoble today – and very quiet.

Sunday means that Bar Clemenceau is shut, so no afternoon beer for Ed; and my chum over at the bakers reminded me that he’s shut tomorrow – he does that every year.

Grenoble Six Day 2010
Grenoble was a bit grey today.
Grenoble Six Day 2010
More glasses required – the bars outside are shut!

The crowd could go either way tonight – it’s hard to say; but the price for a place at the track centre tables has been brought down from 63 to 48 Euros.

Grenoble Six Day 2010
If you’re actually into the racing, you can get pretty close to the riders.

That’s not a bad deal, that gets you in and gives you a table place complete with all food, mineral water, wine and coffee.

Magicians and balloon sculptors will impress/annoy you as you dine, there’s the circus acts, the singers, the Folies girls, the sprinters – and, as a bonus, a Six Day race.

Grenoble Six Day 2010
A different balloon seller from last night. Must be good business here.
Grenoble Six Day 2010
But the crazy band are the same.

In the middle of the afternoon, Dan Fleeman rang to say he’d won the British hill climb championship, again – that was a nice boost for the moral.

Grenoble Six Day 2010
Dan during last winter, when he had just signed with Raleigh.

I decided I’d better get organised and do some interviews.

Grenoble Six Day 2010
Danny and Jens-Erik try to work out who’s on form tonight.
Grenoble Six Day 2010
And here’s what they’ll be doing.

I’d made an arrangement to do an email interview with Elia Viviani but he didn’t get back to me – sometimes that happens, usually because of translation hassles.

But in true Mountie tradition, ‘I got my man!’

His English isn’t the best and my Italian is restricted to a few words so Franco did the honours – my boss speaks English, Italian, German, French, Spanish and the Italian dialect spoken in Puglia.

As well as that, is tall, dark and handsome – and is the World’s best Six Day man. Some boys have all the luck.

Grenoble Six Day 2010
Franco and Alex are on the same lap as the leaders, but are riding “at 80%” just now.
Grenoble Six Day 2010
Elia is only young, but can learn nothing about coolness.

Anyway – Viviani is cool, super cool and quick; you can see it here, his accelerations are savage and the last two nights his team has won the three lap time trial – where the Six Day team are joined by a sprinter, who does the last lap.

Grenoble Six Day 2010
Elia and partner Angelo Ciccone are lying second at the moment.

The other rider I interviewed today was Commonwealth Games sprint champion, Shane Perkins – if all the cyclists in the world were Aussies then being a cycling journo would be much less like pulling teeth.

Grenoble Six Day 2010
Shane is more focused as he matures.

Open, easy to talk to and good fun – with his ‘wild man’ days behind him, he says.

Grenoble Six Day 2010
Racing at the Grenoble Six Days Shane was already targetting the London Olympics.

The night was a good one, the track centre was packed, the racing was good and the ambiance was excellent; there were smiles all round – from ‘speaker’ Daniel Mangeas and even Big Boss of the show, Guy Chanal.

Grenoble Six Day 2010
Speaker Daniel Mangeas will be familiar to anyone who’s been to the Tour de France stage start or finish.<