A thought from the Gent Six Day 2010: It would be easy to go native, work all the sixes, get a job in a bike shop or with a little team for the summer, forget the “25” champs, the ‘day job.’

The sixes are seductive, the rolling presentation, the music, the lights, the banter, the ‘insider’ chat, the gleaming bikes, the pretty girls, the total isolation from reality.

But maybe it’s because it’s only three or four times each year that it’s so special.

Gent Six Day
Another of Ed’s little jobs – preparing the riders’ snacks.
Gent Six Day
Van Bon’s pals make themselves known. (click for the full image)

The place was bursting at the seams on night two; I’m writing this as the rolling presentation for night number three is underway.

Ticket sales were through the roof even when Iljo’s participation was in doubt.

Gent Six Day
Iljo always has time for his fans. One reason he is so popular. (click for the full image)
"The Kuipke embraces an ( unwell ) Keisse."
“The Kuipke embraces an ( unwell ) Keisse.” (click for the full image)

With Iljo here, it’s madness – but the presh is on the man; he’s in the paper every day, he finishes a race and a TV camera get stuck up his nose and when he’s on the line there’s the ‘Iljo song’ – easily learned; “Eel-ee-oo, Eel-ee-oo…” and so on.

"Hang in there! Don't crack!" scream the local headlines.
“Hang in there! Don’t crack!” scream the local headlines. (click for the full image)

The days fly past here, much more so than at Grenoble – up at 10:00, shower, shops, sort the washing, tidy the cabins, send my pictures and by that time the guys are arriving.

There are always a loads of errands to run, the salads and meat to prepare, jerseys to launder, dishes to wash – and try and fit the journalism in too.

Franco gets ready with Kris.
Franco gets ready with Kris. (click for the full image)

The race?

Like Kris says, Van Bon & Stam are keeping a low profile – saving it for Sunday night?

Alex and Michael are defending Gent champions and former World Champions and not prone to ‘low profile.’

They’re notching points steadily and always want to win.

Michael doesn't do 'low profile'.
Michael doesn’t do ‘low profile’.
...but like most of these pro's, he can 'switch off' very easily.
…but like most of these pro’s, he can ‘switch off’ very easily.
Like MotoGP's Valentino Rossi, Franco exudes professionalism, and can combine success with having fun.
Like MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi, Franco exudes professionalism, and can combine success with having fun. (click for the full image)

Iljo? he carries the weight of a City, a region on his slim shoulders. But sometimes it looks like four months without competition is taking it’s toll on the man who grew up on this track. Schep is doing a noble job in support, it has to be said.

He's leading after tonight, but he's not finding it easy.
He’s leading after tonight, but he’s not finding it easy.
Meanwhile the track centre entertainment goes on.
Meanwhile the track centre entertainment goes on.

Bartko & Hondo look mean and De Ketele would murder his granny to win here in Gent; partner Leif Lampater wouldn’t mind so much, either.

Leif is second after tonight.
Leif is second after tonight.

Franco isn’t at his best, but still going better than most – that doesn’t win you Gent, though; a podium would be fine.

Looking good but not ‘podium fodder’ are the other Danish team, our boy Jens-Erik Madsen and Marc Hester, who’s a changed man this year.
Much friendlier and training in a more committed fashion – it shows in the chases.

Marc and Jens-Erik don't have much time to kill between races here - it's hectic.
Marc and Jens-Erik don’t have much time to kill between races here – it’s hectic.

Tomorrow night, Thursday, night three, will be a late one – 02:00 am. They’ve extended the second chase to 40 minutes and bunged in more Dernys and sprint series. “If in doubt, add Dernys” is the motto – anything to keep them beer tokens shifting.

Alex is due on the line, but has a flat. No pressure then Dirk.
Alex is due on the line, but has a flat. No pressure then Dirk. (click for the full image)
Bartko wins the second Derny race of the night.
Bartko wins the second Derny race of the night. (click for the full image)

Kris just worked out my wages – €3.75/hour.

Maybe I won’t go native after all.

Tot morgen!

Time to get back to the cabin.
Time to get back to the cabin. (click for the full image)

Results

Team Presentation

1 Alex Rasmussen – Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen – Santens
2 Iljo Keisse – Peter Schep (Bel/Ned) John Saey – Mega Deschacht
3 Danny Stam – Leon Van Bon (Ned) AA Drink
4 Robert Bartko – Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lotto
5 Kenny De Ketele – Leif Lampater (Bel/Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen
6 Tim Mertens – Pim Ligthart (Bel/Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen
7 Tosh Van der Sande – Andreas Müller (Bel/Ger) Euro Tyre
8 Luke Roberts – Morgan Kneisky (Aus/Fra) ADMB
9 Franco Marvulli – Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) VDK
10 Steven De Neef – Steve Schets (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen
11 Sebastian Donadio – Jeff Vermeulen (Arg/Bel) Geka Kaas – Oudendijk
12 Jens Mouris – Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Caruur
13 Jens-Erik Madsen – Marc Hester (Den) AVS

Sprints 1

1 Kenny De Ketele – Leif Lampater (Bel/Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 11 pts
2 Tim Mertens – Pim Ligthart (Bel/Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen 11
3 Danny Stam – Leon Van Bon (Ned) AA Drink 10
4 Sebastian Donadio – Jeff Vermeulen (Arg/Bel) Geka Kaas – Oudendijk 7
5 Franco Marvulli – Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) VDK 6
6 Alex Rasmussen – Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen – Santens 5
7 Steven De Neef – Steve Schets (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 5
8 Robert Bartko – Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lotto 3
9 Tosh Van der Sande – Andreas Müller (Bel/Ger) Euro Tyre 3
10 Jens Mouris – Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Caruur 2
11 Jens-Erik Madsen – Marc Hester (Den) AVS 2
12 Luke Roberts – Morgan Kneisky (Aus/Fra) ADMB 1
13 Iljo Keisse – Peter Schep (Bel/Ned) John Saey – Mega Deschacht

Team Elimination

1 Iljo Keisse – Peter Schep (Bel/Ned) John Saey – Mega Deschacht 20 pts
2 Kenny De Ketele – Leif Lampater (Bel/Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 12
3 Jens Mouris – Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Caruur 10
4 Franco Marvulli – Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) VDK 8
5 Sebastian Donadio – Jeff Vermeulen (Arg/Bel) Geka Kaas – Oudendijk 6
6 Danny Stam – Leon Van Bon (Ned) AA Drink 4
7 Alex Rasmussen – Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen – Santens
8 Robert Bartko – Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lotto
9 Tim Mertens – Pim Ligthart (Bel/Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen
10 Tosh Van der Sande – Andreas Müller (Bel/Ger) Euro Tyre
11 Luke Roberts – Morgan Kneisky (Aus/Fra) ADMB
12 Steven De Neef – Steve Schets (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen
13 Jens-Erik Madsen – Marc Hester (Den) AVS

Flying Lap

1 Franco Marvulli – Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) VDK 0:00:08.770
2 Alex Rasmussen – Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen – Santens 0:00:08.800
3 Iljo Keisse – Peter Schep (Bel/Ned) John Saey – Mega Deschacht 0:00:08.850
4 Tim Mertens – Pim Ligthart (Bel/Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen 0:00:08.920
5 Kenny De Ketele – Leif Lampater (Bel/Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 0:00:08.980
6 Jens Mouris – Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Caruur
7 Steven De Neef – Steve Schets (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 0:00:09.030
8 Sebastian Donadio – Jeff Vermeulen (Arg/Bel) Geka Kaas – Oudendijk 0:00:09.130
9 Jens-Erik Madsen – Marc Hester (Den) AVS
10 Tosh Van der Sande – Andreas Müller (Bel/Ger) Euro Tyre 0:00:09.290
11 Danny Stam – Leon Van Bon (Ned) AA Drink 0:00:09.310
12 Robert Bartko – Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lotto 0:00:09.370
13 Luke Roberts – Morgan Kneisky (Aus/Fra) ADMB 0:00:09.580

Madison 1

1 Alex Rasmussen – Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen – Santens 20 pts
2 Iljo Keisse – Peter Schep (Bel/Ned) John Saey – Mega Deschacht 12
3 Danny Stam – Leon Van Bon (Ned) AA Drink
At One Lap
4 Franco Marvulli – Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) VDK 10
5 Kenny De Ketele – Leif Lampater (Bel/Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 8
6 Robert Bartko – Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lotto 6
7 Jens-Erik Madsen – Marc Hester (Den) AVS 4
At Three Laps
8 Tim Mertens – Pim Ligthart (Bel/Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen
9 Luke Roberts – Morgan Kneisky (Aus/Fra) ADMB
10 Jens Mouris – Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Caruur
At Four Laps
11 Tosh Van der Sande – Andreas Müller (Bel/Ger) Euro Tyre
12 Sebastian Donadio – Jeff Vermeulen (Arg/Bel) Geka Kaas – Oudendijk
At Seven Laps
13 Steven De Neef – Steve Schets (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen

Derny 1

1 Danny Stam (Ned) 5 pts
2 Jens-Erik Madsen (Den) 4
3 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) 3
4 Luke Roberts (Aus) 2
5 Steven De Neef (Bel) 1
6 Jens Mouris (Ned)

Derny 2

1 Robert Bartko (Ger) 5 pts
2 Iljo Keisse (Bel) 4
3 Leif Lampater (Ger) 3
4 Alex Rasmussen (Den) 2
5 Pim Ligthart (Ned) 1
6 Franco Marvulli (Swi)

500m TT

1 Franco Marvulli – Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) VDK 0:00:28.160
2 Tim Mertens – Pim Ligthart (Bel/Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen 0:00:28.440
3 Iljo Keisse – Peter Schep (Bel/Ned) John Saey – Mega Deschacht 0:00:28.470
4 Robert Bartko – Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lotto 0:00:28.710
5 Kenny De Ketele – Leif Lampater (Bel/Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 0:00:28.740
6 Jens-Erik Madsen – Marc Hester (Den) AVS 0:00:29.120
7 Sebastian Donadio – Jeff Vermeulen (Arg/Bel) Geka Kaas – Oudendijk 0:00:29.190
8 Jens Mouris – Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Caruur 0:00:29.320
9 Luke Roberts – Morgan Kneisky (Aus/Fra) ADMB 0:00:29.830
10 Danny Stam – Leon Van Bon (Ned) AA Drink 0:00:29.850
11 Steven De Neef – Steve Schets (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 0:00:30.090
12 Tosh Van der Sande – Andreas Müller (Bel/Ger) Euro Tyre 0:00:30.520
13 Alex Rasmussen – Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen – Santens 0:00:29.530

Derny Final

1 Iljo Keisse (Bel) 5 pts
2 Robert Bartko (Ger) 4
3 Danny Stam (Ned) 3
4 Jens-Erik Madsen (Den) 2
5 Leif Lampater (Ger) 1
6 Tosh Van der Sande (Bel)

Sprints 2

1 Kenny De Ketele – Leif Lampater (Bel/Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 9 pts
2 Tosh Van der Sande – Andreas Müller (Bel/Ger) Euro Tyre 9
3 Sebastian Donadio – Jeff Vermeulen (Arg/Bel) Geka Kaas – Oudendijk 8
4 Alex Rasmussen – Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen – Santens 7
5 Robert Bartko – Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lotto 6
6 Steven De Neef – Steve Schets (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 6
7 Tim Mertens – Pim Ligthart (Bel/Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen 5
8 Franco Marvulli – Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) VDK 4
9 Iljo Keisse – Peter Schep (Bel/Ned) John Saey – Mega Deschacht 3
10 Danny Stam – Leon Van Bon (Ned) AA Drink 3
11 Luke Roberts – Morgan Kneisky (Aus/Fra) ADMB 3
12 Jens-Erik Madsen – Marc Hester (Den) AVS 3
13 Jens Mouris – Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Caruur

Madison 2

1 Jens-Erik Madsen – Marc Hester (Den) AVS 20 pts
2 Alex Rasmussen – Michael Morkov (Den) Callant Verzekeringen – Santens 12
3 Robert Bartko – Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lotto 10
4 Iljo Keisse – Peter Schep (Bel/Ned) John Saey – Mega Deschacht 8
5 Franco Marvulli – Alexander Aeschbach (Swi) VDK 6
6 Kenny De Ketele – Leif Lampater (Bel/Ger) Mercator Verzekeringen 4
7 Danny Stam – Leon Van Bon (Ned) AA Drink
8 Tim Mertens – Pim Ligthart (Bel/Ned) Topsport Vlaanderen
9 Luke Roberts – Morgan Kneisky (Aus/Fra) ADMB
10 Jens Mouris – Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Caruur
At Two Laps
11 Tosh Van der Sande – Andreas Müller (Bel/Ger) Euro Tyre
12 Sebastian Donadio – Jeff Vermeulen (Arg/Bel) Geka Kaas – Oudendijk
At Five Laps
13 Steven De Neef – Steve Schets (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen

Standings after the Second Night

1 Peter Schep – Iljo Keisse (Ned/Bel) John Saey – Mega Deschacht 134 pts
2 Leif Lampater – Kenny De Ketele (Ger/Bel) Mercator Verzekeringen 123
3 Michael Morkov – Alex Rasmussen (Den) Callant Verzekeringen – Santens 113
At One Lap
4 Alexander Aeschbach – Franco Marvulli (Swi) VDK 114
5 Danilo Hondo – Robert Bartko (Ger) Lotto 95
6 Leon Van Bon – Danny Stam (Ned) AA Drink 86
At Two Laps
7 Marc Hester – Jens-Erik Madsen (Den) AVS 54
At Four Laps
8 Pim Ligthart – Tim Mertens (Ned/Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 85
9 Wim Stroetinga – Jens Mouris (Ned) Caruur 41
10 Morgan Kneisky – Luke Roberts (Fra/Aus) ADMB 28
At Ten Laps
11 Jeff Vermeulen – Sebastian Donadio (Bel/Arg) Geka Kaas – Oudendijk 36
12 Andreas Müller – Tosh Van Der Sande (Ger/Bel) 24
At Eighteen Laps
13 Steve Schets – Steven De Neef (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 21

There are lots of friendly, er, characters to chat to here.
There are lots of friendly, er, characters to chat to here.
It's over for tonight. Two down, four to go.
It’s over for tonight. Two down, four to go. (click for the full image)