It’s a long way from Gent Six Days 2011 to Zürich, around 800 kilometres – so best get on the road early.

We picked up Jesper at the Expo Holiday Inn – where Vik and I have stalked the mechanics at many’s a Het Volk – and then we were offski.

Fortunately, the weather was beautiful as we skirted Brussels and then headed for Luxembourg to fuel up – diesel is 25 cents/litre cheaper there than in Belgium.

Gent Six Days 2011
The Six gets great coverage in the Gentenaar.

It was getting dark when we reached our Formule 1 beside Basel airport – on the French side of the border which is much less expensive than the Swiss side.

Gent Six Days 2011
As does the Saturday’s cyclo-cross at Koksijde.

Jesper made the trip with us from the Gent Six Days 2011; being a young rider he doesn’t have the money for expensive air fares.

Over dinner – in a basic but clean snack bar – he was telling us that he’d heard that some of the young Dutch guys were on contracts for ‘a certain Six Day’ which would barely cover their costs.

A rider has to get to the race and back then pay his soigneur and mechanic – and maybe pay for tyres if he’s unlucky enough to puncture.

The Formules are very basic, but clean, cosy and the wi-fi is free.

And it’s nice not having to climb a ladder to go to bed !