Iljo Keisse
Iljo is certainly the star attraction here.

It’s different here; the butcher asks you how Iljo Keisse is doing in the Six and the local paper has him in full colour, on the cover.

In the same paper – De Gentenaar – which is a local ‘rag,’ there’s a two page guide to track racing and two pages of stats on the 2009 season.

Columbia are top winners, with 85 (I thought it was 86 !): Saxo have 44: Diquigiovanni 33; Garmin 29; Rabobank 26; Cervélo 25 – first Belgian team, on 24, is QuickStep.

Columbia top the team rankings in terms of all races, from Saxo and Rabobank but Astana top the official UCI rankings from Caisse and Columbia – reflecting the UCI weighting towards the Grand Tours.

Top Belgian winners on seven are Gilbert and Boonen; in third spot with six is a Viktor and Ed hero – ‘Rambo’ himself, Niko Eeckhout (AN Post). Another ‘oldie but goodie,’ ex Belgian elite champion, Gert Omloop nabbed three for Palmans-Cras.

Internationally, it’s Cav, with 23 to Greipel’s 20 with Boasson Hagen a distant third on 13.

Country wise, it’s France in terms of number of wins – 152 to Italy’s 144 and Spain’s 109. But De Gentenaar is dismissive of this, pointing out that there are a lot of small races in France and they don’t rate internationally.

As far as national rankings go, Spain are top, from Italy and Germany with the same two topping the UCI rankings from Australia in third.

All of this is in a local paper, not a glossy monthly cycling magazine.

Iljo Keisse
Garry Hagger, local crooner.

The walk to the shops takes you past Iljo’s dad’s bar, with all it’s cycling memorabilia; the 2008 Tour de France finish line, where Steegmans won the stage and not forgetting Maurice Burton’s old house.

It’s the heartland; last night the place was bursting at the seams.

Iljo Keisse
Iljo’s Dad’s Bar, De Karper.

The landlady of one of Dave Chapman’s Belgian racing days contemporaries from the early 80’s – John Mullen from New Zealand – was here last night. Not a young woman, but she’s at the Kuipke, hanging over the barriers to watch the racing.

Iljo Keisse
Gent, last week in November. The track centre is THE place to be.

‘Kuipke’ in Flemish means an old fashioned tin bath – which have the same shape as the track.

Iljo Keisse
It’s Franco’s turn, this time in the time trial.

You have to keep away from the crowd barriers or you’d spend the whole night organising programme signing or telling folks where Iljo’s cabin is placed.

Iljo Keisse
Those derny drivers ain’t exactly skinny.

I used to think that Iljo was a bit arrogant, but I’ve had to revise that, he never refuses autograph or photo requests – last night he was surrounded by drunks, all wanting their pictures taken with him. He just laughed his way through it – professional!

Iljo Keisse
A good guy, always time for people. Here, Iljo chats to the TV folk.

Our cabin is on the passage way to his and there’s a constant stream of press, TV, radio and photographers on the way to photograph/talk to/bore the man.

Alex and Michael take time out to chat with the press as well.

The racing has been good – maybe not 100% but I think there’s shadow boxing going on – despite that, there are riders wasted, up there.

Steve Schets and Steven De Neef were hauled off the track last night before the end of the second madison – Schets was a wreck.

The racing may be hard, but it’s tough being a spectator too!

Bendigo madison winners, Glenn O’Shea and Leigh Howard were big faves for the Worlds ’til O’Shea went down with chicken pox – Howard rode to silver with Cameron Meyer. But it’s not the same Leigh Howard – this one is having to dig too deep, too early.

Franco chills out between races with his book…
…then uses it as a pillow when he catches 40 winks.

It’s 19:42 on night three, I better get busy – it’ll be 02:00 am before this shift is over.

Alex prepares to set off for the hotel. Where’s yer lights?!

Results

Points race
1 Steven Deneef (Bel)/Steve Schets (Bel) JDK 10pts
2 Bruno Risi (Swi)/Franco Marvulli (Swi) Knokse Bandencentrale — Eurotyre 6
3 Glenn O’Shea (Aus)/Leigh Howard (Aus) VDK Spaarbank 5
4 Iljo Keisse (Bel)/Roger Kluge (Ger) Mega Deschacht — John Saey 4
5 Geert-Jan Jonkman (Ned)/Marc Hester (Den) AVS 3
6 Leon Van Bon (Ned)/Andreas Müller (Ger) Caruur 2
7 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)/Robert Bartko (Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen
8 Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)/Tristan Marguet (Swi) Geka Kaas
9 Danny Stam (Ned)/Leif Lampater (Ger) Ploeg AA Drink
10 Ingmar Depoortere (Bel)/Nicky Cocquyt (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen
11 Alex Rasmussen (Den)/Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen — Wire-less
12 Jeff Vermeulen (Ned)/Peter Schep (Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen

Team elimination
1 Alex Rasmussen (Den)/Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen — Wire-less 20pts
2 Danny Stam (Ned)/Leif Lampater (Ger) Ploeg AA Drink 12
3 Iljo Keisse (Bel)/Roger Kluge (Ger) Mega Deschacht — John Saey 10
4 Jeff Vermeulen (Ned)/Peter Schep (Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen 8
5 Glenn O’Shea (Aus)/Leigh Howard (Aus) VDK Spaarbank 6
6 Geert-Jan Jonkman (Ned)/Marc Hester (Den) AVS 4
7 Bruno Risi (Swi)/Franco Marvulli (Swi) Knokse Bandencentrale — Eurotyre
8 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)/Robert Bartko (Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen
9 Ingmar Depoortere (Bel)/Nicky Cocquyt (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen
10 Leon Van Bon (Ned)/Andreas Müller (Ger) Caruur
11 Steven Deneef (Bel)/Steve Schets (Bel) JDK
12 Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)/Tristan Marguet (Swi) Geka Kaas

One lap time trial
1 Bruno Risi (Swi)/Franco Marvulli (Swi) Knokse Bandencentrale — Eurotyre 10pts
2 Alex Rasmussen (Den)/Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen — Wire-less 6
3 Iljo Keisse (Bel)/Roger Kluge (Ger) Mega Deschacht — John Saey 5
4 Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)/Tristan Marguet (Swi) Geka Kaas 4
5 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)/Robert Bartko (Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 3
6 Jeff Vermeulen (Ned)/Peter Schep (Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen 2
7 Steven Deneef (Bel)/Steve Schets (Bel) JDK
8 Ingmar Depoortere (Bel)/Nicky Cocquyt (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen
9 Geert-Jan Jonkman (Ned)/Marc Hester (Den) AVS
10 Danny Stam (Ned)/Leif Lampater (Ger) Ploeg AA Drink
11 Glenn O’Shea (Aus)/Leigh Howard (Aus) VDK Spaarbank
12 Leon Van Bon (Ned)/Andreas Müller (Ger) Caruur

Madison 1
1 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)/Robert Bartko (Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 20pts
2 Danny Stam (Ned)/Leif Lampater (Ger) Ploeg AA Drink 12
One lap down
3 Bruno Risi (Swi)/Franco Marvulli (Swi) Knokse Bandencentrale — Eurotyre 10
4 Iljo Keisse (Bel)/Roger Kluge (Ger) Mega Deschacht — John Saey 8
5 Jeff Vermeulen (Ned)/Peter Schep (Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen 6
6 Alex Rasmussen (Den)/Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen — Wire-less 4
Two laps down
7 Leon Van Bon (Ned)/Andreas Müller (Ger) Caruur
8 Glenn O’Shea (Aus)/Leigh Howard (Aus) VDK Spaarbank
9 Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)/Tristan Marguet (Swi) Geka Kaas
Four laps down
10 Geert-Jan Jonkman (Ned)/Marc Hester (Den) AVS
Five laps down
11 Ingmar Depoortere (Bel)/Nicky Cocquyt (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen
Seven laps down
12 Steven Deneef (Bel)/Steve Schets (Bel) JDK

Derny 1
1 Iljo Keisse 5pts
2 Bruno Risi 4
3 Rasmussen 3
4 Bartko 2
5 Jonkman 1
6 Schets

Elimination
1 Kenny De Ketele 10pts
2 Marc Hester 6
3 Nicky Cocquyt 5
4 Andreas Müller 4
5 Steven De Neef 3
6 Tristan Marguet 2
7 Peter Schep
8 Franco Marvulli
9 Michael Morkov
10 Roger Kluge
11 Leif Lampater
12 Leigh Howard

Derny 2
1 Danny Stam 5pts
2 Glenn O’Shea 4
3 Leon van Bon 3
4 Jeff Vermeulen 2
5 Alexander Aeschbach 1
6 Ingmar De Poortere

500m time trial
1 Iljo Keisse (Bel)/Roger Kluge (Ger) Mega Deschacht — John Saey 20pts
2 Alex Rasmussen (Den)/Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen — Wire-less 12
3 Bruno Risi (Swi)/Franco Marvulli (Swi) Knokse Bandencentrale — Eurotyre 10
4 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)/Robert Bartko (Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 8
5 Glenn O’Shea (Aus)/Leigh Howard (Aus) VDK Spaarbank 6
6 Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)/Tristan Marguet (Swi) Geka Kaas 4
7 Ingmar Depoortere (Bel)/Nicky Cocquyt (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen
8 Danny Stam (Ned)/Leif Lampater (Ger) Ploeg AA Drink
9 Jeff Vermeulen (Ned)/Peter Schep (Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen
10 Leon Van Bon (Ned)/Andreas Müller (Ger) Caruur
11 Geert-Jan Jonkman (Ned)/Marc Hester (Den) AVS
12 Steven Deneef (Bel)/Steve Schets (Bel) JDK

Derny finale
1 Iljo Keisse 5pts
2 Bruno Risi 4
3 Danny Stam 3
4 Alex Rasmussen 2
5 Glenn O’Shea 1
6 Leon van Bon

Sprints
1 Danny Stam (Ned)/Leif Lampater (Ger) Ploeg AA Drink 12pts
2 Iljo Keisse (Bel)/Roger Kluge (Ger) Mega Deschacht — John Saey 10
3 Geert-Jan Jonkman (Ned)/Marc Hester (Den) AVS 10
4 Jeff Vermeulen (Ned)/Peter Schep (Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen 8
5 Bruno Risi (Swi)/Franco Marvulli (Swi) Knokse Bandencentrale — Eurotyre 6
6 Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)/Tristan Marguet (Swi) Geka Kaas 6
7 Alex Rasmussen (Den)/Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen — Wire-less 5
8 Steven Deneef (Bel)/Steve Schets (Bel) JDK 3
9 Glenn O’Shea (Aus)/Leigh Howard (Aus) VDK Spaarbank 2
10 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)/Robert Bartko (Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 2
11 Ingmar Depoortere (Bel)/Nicky Cocquyt (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 1
12 Leon Van Bon (Ned)/Andreas Müller (Ger) Caruur 1

Madison 2
1 Jeff Vermeulen (Ned)/Peter Schep (Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen 20pts
One lap down
2 Danny Stam (Ned)/Leif Lampater (Ger) Ploeg AA Drink 12
3 Alex Rasmussen (Den)/Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen — Wire-less 10
4 Iljo Keisse (Bel)/Roger Kluge (Ger) Mega Deschacht — John Saey 8
5 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)/Robert Bartko (Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 6
6 Bruno Risi (Swi)/Franco Marvulli (Swi) Knokse Bandencentrale — Eurotyre 4
Two laps down
7 Leon Van Bon (Ned)/Andreas Müller (Ger) Caruur
8 Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)/Tristan Marguet (Swi) Geka Kaas
9 Glenn O’Shea (Aus)/Leigh Howard (Aus) VDK Spaarbank
Three laps down
10 Geert-Jan Jonkman (Ned)/Marc Hester (Den) AVS
Four laps down
11 Ingmar Depoortere (Bel)/Nicky Cocquyt (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen
Ten laps down
12 Steven Deneef (Bel)/Steve Schets (Bel) JDK

Standings after night two
1 Alex Rasmussen (Den)/Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen — Wire-less 160pts
2 Iljo Keisse (Bel)/Roger Kluge (Ger) Mega Deschacht — John Saey 149
3 Bruno Risi (Swi)/Franco Marvulli (Swi) Knokse Bandencentrale — Eurotyre 126
4 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)/Robert Bartko (Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 84
One lap down
5 Danny Stam (Ned)/Leif Lampater (Ger) Ploeg AA Drink 96
6 Jeff Vermeulen (Ned)/Peter Schep (Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen 69
Five laps down
7 Glenn O’Shea (Aus)/Leigh Howard (Aus) VDK Spaarbank 61
Six laps down
8 Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)/Tristan Marguet (Swi) Geka Kaas 40
9 Leon Van Bon (Ned)/Andreas Müller (Ger) Caruur 24
Thirteen laps down
10 Geert-Jan Jonkman (Ned)/Marc Hester (Den) AVS 37
Fifteen laps down
11 Ingmar Depoortere (Bel)/Nicky Cocquyt (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 14
Twenty five laps down
12 Steven Deneef (Bel)/Steve Schets (Bel) JDK 22