“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.‘
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.
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.
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.
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.
I decided I’d better get organised and do some interviews.
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.
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.
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.
Open, easy to talk to and good fun – with his ‘wild man’ days behind him, he says.
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.
Good fun, good racing, good morale, the best bread, the best rider to lo