I’m working at the Gent Six Day 2010, and last year’s Under 25 winner, big Aussie, Alex Carver just landed on the boards, somewhere close to my right ear.
Meanwhile, down in the cabin, all of our guys sleep peacefully.
It was mozzarella and ham salad followed by chicken and spaghetti for dinner and a post dinner nap (on the floor) is the last luxury they’ll enjoy, tonight.
Sure enough, the race hasn’t long started and the dope test guys arrive – just like Elliot Ness and the Untouchables; but without the Armani suits – one guy tells me his day job is a plumber – the riders are suitably underwhelmed.
There are eight of them, they’re clad in hi-viz vests emblazoned with ‘Doping Control’ and are anything but low key.
One of them, with no little arrogance, plonks himself down in Alex and Michael’s cabin.
One of the Flemish journos asks; ‘So, we stop now in the Tour de France at 100km into the stage, and all the guys must piss in the bottle?‘
He has a point – why not wait for a pause in the racing? or until the racing is finished?
Those who know also reckon that the tests are of questionable validity if conducted in an environment like this – with Dernys buzzing around, food, drink, contaminants and people everywhere; he advises that the riders should write on the forms the circumstances of the test.
It doesn’t put too much of a damper on the first chase; Iljo pops a wheelie when he takes him up to the zero lap and another when he wins.
I wondered why he dropped out of the Derny so early.
The doping guys are here a long time and do an excellent job of getting under our feet.
The Dernys buzz but there’s a loud ‘bang!’ over the noise of the pack of little swine – a blow out for Van Bon but he brings it down safely and takes a well deserved bow.
It’s hot tonight, damn hot, real hot and as well as the sports drinks the guys glug the chilled (free) Coke from the cabinet – they shouldn’t really, it’s bad for the tummy.
I’m addicted to the ‘Burn Intense Energy’ – I’m not man enough to read the can, the contents will be too scary.
When I last heard Gary sing at a six however, Viktor and I had consumed not unsubstantial quantities of pils and Gary gave us his version of ‘Las Vegas,’ a Tony Christie classic; “Hey Las Vegas the Devil gave us to you…“
Somehow, without Viktor, the pils and “Night after night, watching the wheel go round…“, it just wasn’t the same.
But I digress – my metabolism has found some kind of equilibrium with the crazy hours and once I’ve had my morning shower, I wonder why I thought I was going to die.
To be honest, after midnight, it was all a bit of blur, tonight – Dernys, jersey changes, fill bottles, push riders off, haul them in, wipe legs, run errands, ‘Dos Cerveza por favor‘ deafening me, tidy the cabin – last sprint, phew!
Franco won a food hamper tonight, the cheese and sausages went in the fridge…
Being a runner does have it’s advantages!
Saturday night is next – I’m not convinced it can get much crazier, but I could be wrong.
Gent Six Day 2010 Result
1 Franco Marvulli / Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) VDK 12 pts
2 Jens Mouris / Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Caruur 10
3 Alex Rasmussen / Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen – Santens 8
4 Kenny De Ketele (Bel) / Leif Lampater (Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 7
5 Iljo Keisse (Bel) / Peter Schep (Ned) John Saey – Mega Deschacht 5
6 Steven De Neef / Steve Schets (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 5
7 Luke Roberts (Aus) / Morgan Kneisky (Fra) ADMB 4
8 Tim Mertens (Bel) / Pim Ligthart (Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen 4
9 Jens -Erik Madsen / Marc Hester (Den) AVS 4
10 Danny Stam / Leon Van Bon (Ned) AA Drink 4
11 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) / Andreas Müller (Ger) Euro Tyre 3
12 Sebastian Donadio (Arg) / Jeff Vermeulen (Bel) Geka Kaas – Oudendijk
13 Robert Bartko / Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lotto
1 Franco Marvulli / Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) VDK 20 pts
2 Kenny De Ketele (Bel) / Leif Lampater (Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 12
3 Tim Mertens (Bel) / Pim Ligthart (Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen 10
4 Danny Stam / Leon Van Bon (Ned) AA Drink 8
5 Sebastian Donadio (Arg) / Jeff Vermeulen (Bel) Geka Kaas – Oudendijk 6
6 Robert Bartko / Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lotto 4
7 Steven De Neef / Steve Schets (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen
8 Luke Roberts (Aus) / Morgan Kneisky (Fra) ADMB
9 Jens -Erik Madsen / Marc Hester (Den) AVS
10 Jens Mouris / Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Caruur
11 Alex Rasmussen / Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen – Santens
12 Iljo Keisse (Bel) / Peter Schep (Ned) John Saey – Mega Deschacht
13 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) / Andreas Müller (Ger) Euro Tyre
1 Jens Mouris / Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Caruur 0:00:08.83
2 Alex Rasmussen / Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen – Santens 0:00:08.84
3 Franco Marvulli / Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) VDK 0:00:08.90
4 Iljo Keisse