There’s no telling what you’ll see when you walk up those stairs; you’d expect to see Elia Viviani or Teun Mulder on the rollers on their road bikes or Shane Perkins on his track bike on the rollers — but a juggler?
The views over to the Alps were stunning this morning, the city is ringed on all sides by mountains.
It was an up and down kind of day, the bakers was open again after their Monday off and I bought those lovely baguettes campagne, a friend of Franco’s brought in some delicious almond croissants — they were gone before I could photograph them, but there were cakes too.
And Franco’s partner in the race, Alex Aeschbach gave me a wee present, ‘6 Daagsen Statistieken 2010’ a book as sad as it sounds — packed with Six Day stats; I almost cried with gratitude.
But there was bad news too; Jo Do the German mechanic had to go to hospital with a burst appendix.
One of the mechanics duties is to chain all the bikes up at night — no mechanic means no key for the padlock and no training for Jens-Erik until we tracked down the key from Jo Do’s lady.
And Franco has a lung infection — that’s going to make win number six tough; Danny and Leon are in the cabin next door, they can sense weakness like a shark senses blood in the water.
Kris must have been working me too hard last night, I missed the parade of previous winners, there’s a photo in the ‘Speed Gazette’ newspaper which the race organisers produce each day.
One haircut I recognised was that of Philippe Tarantini who ‘won’ here in 1991 — ask Stephen Roche about that one.
Roche was leading with Tony Doyle; Tarantini and Jean-Claude Colotti were a lap down but with better points and attacked late in the last chase.
They didn’t make the junction until after the lap last had been completed — but if you were the judges, who would you want to win, an Irish millionaire or a lad from just up the road at La Tronche?
Patrick Sercu arrived tonight — its pay day tomorrow — and told us that we can’t park the camper inside the big garage beside the track at Gent — it’s going to be chilly walking to the shower block.
I had a good look at the hardware this afternoon; one thing about Danny Stam is that he and his partners always have nice bikes.
Alex Aeschbach rides a carbon BMC; you love them or hate them.
Carbon again for Jens-Erik’s Principia — a lovely tool, very rigid but; ‘too rigid for the road’ says Dirk the mechanic.
The Belgians stick with good old aluminium on their white Merckx track machines.