Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Gent Six Day 2010 – Third Night, Iljo Keeps the Lead but Frays a Little

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I just received an email from Rapha; “The New Tweed Softshell and City Riding Collection” – that’s exactly what I need, tweed. Set a new trend at the Kuipke. We’re here for the Gent Six Day 2010.

Maybe not – my shorts have caused enough raised eyebrows.

Gent Six Day 2010
This way to the fun.
Gent Six Day 2010
Preparing the dinner for the paying guests.
Gent Six Day 2010
This morning’s paper, with Keisse and Sercu.

* * *

Night three?

Gent Six Day 2010
They’re off!

Lots of Dernys, lots of beer – Franco sick, Iljo fraying a little at the edges, the Danes calm under fire and bed for us at 03:45.

In the mornings I feel like one of those people in the films who have miraculously survived a plane crash, they stumble dazed and bleeding among the rescue teams.

Or in my case – the beer delivery guys.

Gent Six Day 2010
The bar is all set for another hammering.
Gent Six Day 2010
Happy Birthday to Andreas.
Gent Six Day 2010
Iljo and Kenny face the Belgian TV.
Gent Six Day 2010
Franco warms up.

One of my little regrets here is that I haven’t had the time to watch the Under 25 racing – ‘the Stars of Tomorrow.’

Or as was the case the other night; ‘the Casualty Admissions of Tomorrow.’

The US laddies fell off whilst warming up, both broke their collar bone – one team down.

Then the New Zealander, Christopher Magic caused a monumental pile up, he pulled out in embarrassment, but not before one of the other teams had to pull out with broken bones.

From 12 teams, nine survive and they’re all a tad nervous – understandably so.

Gent Six Day 2010
Iljo may be leading, but he’s not finding it easy.
Gent Six Day 2010
The start of another derny race.

The Belgian and Dutch riders continue to ignore me – as they do with all runners except their own.

All of the other guys are cool, even big Bartko who’s supposed to be ‘superior’ has a nod.

It seems much harder this year to get time to write – the time just evaporates and there are always errands to run to the shops, to the camper – Marc Hester has a web site and I’ve been sending him pictures every day, where more of my time goes.

Gent Six Day 2010
Ed is Marc’s official photographer these days!
Gent Six Day 2010
The hammer goes down in the first madison.
Gent Six Day 2010
Alex is one cool customer.

And Michael has just taken delivery of a new bike, a Dolan – Specialized used to be happy to let him ride his Principia but this year have told him that he needs to ride an ‘anonymous’ frame.

Gent Six Day 2010
Michael about to enter the battle.

There’s a new track Specialized in the offing but not ’til 2011.

They don’t mind Alex riding the Principia because he’s off to HTC.

Yes, they’ll be on Specialized too next season – none of us really understand…

Anyway! The point of the story is that Michael wanted pics of his new tool for his website – something else to do.

I did a wee interview with him about the bike, which will hopefully be live soon – some interesting stuff.

Gent Six Day 2010
Cheers Michael.

And, Bang!

Over my right shoulder, the big Aussie Under 25 rider, Alex Carver clatters that BT onto the boards.

But he’s up and away again after a rapid wheel change.

On the way to the shops earlier, I noticed that they’ve erected a plaque to Isaac Gálvez who lost his life in a crash at the Kuipke in the six of 2006 – a nice touch.

Gent Six Day 2010
The Kuipke memorial for Isaac Galvez.

The Spaniard was a quality rider – World Madison Champion – and by all accounts a nice man.

Tom Simpson’s bust used to be in the Kuipke entrance lobby, but they moved it to the cycling museum at Oudenaarde.

And whilst we’re on the subject of ‘Kuipke’ I saw it translated as ‘bowl‘, but I think that Dirk, our mechanic’s translation is more accurate: ‘tin bath.’

Gent Six Day 2010
The ‘tin bath’ – het kuipke.
Gent Six Day 2010
There’s a lot of socialising goes on in the track centre.

Lots to do, best turn off Dean Martin and head for the cabin. Yeah, Dean Martin… if you were here, you’d need some mellowness, too!

Ciao, ciao.

Gent Six Day 2010
Iljo chills out.

Gent Six Day 2010 Result

Sprints 1

1 Steven De Neef / Steve Schets (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 8 pts
2 Jens Mouris / Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Caruur 8
3 Kenny De K