My pal Vik called me this morning; ‘the racing at the Grenoble Four Day can’t be very good if you’re spending so much time taking pictures of boys on the trapeze!

If I could get him down here it would be different.

It’s not just a bike race; if he was here, eating the nice food, drinking champers with friends, with the race whizzing around him and the amazing shows, he’d see things in a new light.

Grenoble Four Day 2012
This lady can make you anything out of balloons.

He particularly hates the magic acts and the girl who does the balloon figures; I asked him if he wanted me to bring back a balloon puppy dog or a monkey – that got him off the line.

Grenoble Four Day 2012 Nolan Hoffman
Nolan Hoffman was a silver medallist at the World Championships.

I managed to fit in a couple of interviews, today – Nolan Hoffman and our boy, Guy East.

Iljo’s soigneur Gunther de Geest does a spot of training with Nolan.

Nolan is from South Africa, he was second to Ben Swift in the Worlds Scratch Race – it’s cool to see a black guy hurtling round the track; it reminded me of the ‘good old days’ when Maurice Burton was on the circuit.

Grenoble Four Day 2012 Clement Carisey
Clement Carisey leads Guy East.

Guy is an interesting character; he won the U23 UiV indoor track cup; was with Trek-Livestrong then Kelly Benefits – which is a very successful team in the US – but decided he needed space to figure out what he wanted to do with his life.

He’s spent a lot of time helping those less fortunate than he is; but he just can’t stay away from the indoor tracks scene.

Meanwhile, Kenny De Ketele did what you’d expect any World Champion track rider to do the afternoon before an evening of fast indoor track – he climbed l’Alpe d’Huez.

l’Alpe is just a little over an hour away, along the valley – but make that four hours if the Tour de France is in town.

How did it go, Kenny?’ I enquired.

Not so bad, even though it rained all the way, I rode 39 x 25 just two minutes behind Contador’s time – I think maybe I can kick his ass up there, some time!

But Kenny can be a bit of a joker.

Vik, if you’re reading, miss this next bit out.

A splendid seafood buffet.

The seafood buffet was amazing tonight, langoustines, oysters – the full bifta, with beautiful sweets to finish off.

One day I’m going to dine here then hang over the barriers annoying the guys in the ‘quartier coureurs.’

As I said in yesterday’s epistle, Laurent Biondi asked me to take some pictures of his boy in action in the youngsters’ races.

I was happy to oblige, Monsieur Biondi is a cool guy – it wouldn’t be the first time he’s helped us unload the camper.

Youngster, Andrea Biondi.
And papa, Laurent Biondi.

Young Biondi is taller than his father and looks good on his track bike – but not as cool as Biondi senior en route the Worlds Professional Points Race title in 1990.

The house band.

The band here might not be to my taste, but those boys earn their corn; playing from the start of the schoolboy races, through the presentations, all of the races, right to the bitter end – respect.

The opening 42 lap Points Race was fast; the boys were well warmed up by the end of that one.

Franco is out of hospital, but not up to racing a full programme.

Franco was back, but only briefly, to comply with the UCi rules and ride the first half of the points to keep Tristan in the race.

Seb ivars throws Clement Carisey into the fray.

The 35 minute chase was quick – a nice race to watch with the French guys well involved.

Austin Caroll is introduced to the crowd.

But as Austin says; ‘when Keisse and De Ketele go, it’s like this’ . . . and he makes the gesture of opening the throttle on a motorbike.

And if you’re familiar with my descriptions of events in Grenoble in previous years, you’ll remember the horror that is ‘No limits.

In other words, a standstill contest – this goes in the, ‘only in France’ file.

This year they held it on the track centre stage, rather than on the actual track.

‘It’s in the contract? Oh, okay, guess I have to then’.

Dirk held up trainer-wearing Jason Kenny as the speaker counted down to ‘let go’ time.

I didn’t time it, but it was nowhere near the 27 minutes we had to endure a few years ago from Arnaud Tournant.

As the minutes ticked by, Dirk whispered in my ear; ‘if this is Gent, they would be throwing stuff at us by now!

It’s not something you will see at Gent in a few week’s time.

Jason ‘won’ after Tournant did a good job of distracting Baugé.

Not one magician…
…but two!

The Team Time Trial whirled around us as I sneaked into the track centre to take some snaps – the magic guy and girl were working well.

Some lovely cakes and cookies laid on for the paying customers, and the odd mechanic or runner.

But it was a tough call, watch the TTT or join the “cookie queue”?

The Folies seem to have a male staff member these days too.

I caught a few snaps of the Folies girls en route the stage before I spotted the security guy striding towards me and bolted back to the cabin.

Guy shouts “Go faster!”.

Around this time, Guy decided he needed a ride on the back of the motorbike – it’s driven by a real live stunt rider who takes terrified punters for a couple of demented laps.

Guy was unfazed by the ride around the bankings on the back wheel.

In honour of Guy being a speed merchant too, he even popped a couple of wheelies – mad!

The Golden Statues did their thing, then it was the sprinters again.

Kevin Sireau holds the world record with 9.572 in Moscow and is still only 25, but despite his speed and European titles, he’s never won the World Sprint Title.

He’s a tall man for a sprinter – whilst his build is untypical of the breed, he has the big personality one usually associates with sprinters.

Jason Kenny is an untypical sprinter too, whilst Baugé has an aura, Kenny is so low-key as to be invisible – and his build is unremarkable.

But he’s startlingly quick.

Uh oh, Iljo is warming up… it’s going to be full-gas.

The final chase is only 20 minutes each night, but it’s by no means ‘soft’ – and when you see Iljo on the rollers before a chase you’d best fasten your seatbelt.

Fabio Masotti throws Angelo Ciccone.
Guy checks on Austin’s whereabouts.

The Italians are pros, never spectacular but always thereabouts; and our guys rode well.

Morgan Kneisky looks a wee bit stressed.

Kneisky was looking a wee bit tired tonight – he’s a thoroughbred, as is Bryan Coquard.

But Iljo Keisse and Kenny De Ketele are big old warhorses, 35 minute and 20 minute madison chases aren’t going to trouble them one bit.

Strong men, Iljo and Kenny.

As Dirk says; ‘let’s see how the French guys do at Gent!’

And as the night drew to a close, Iljo came over – to discuss tactics?

Iljo comes over for a blether.

No, actually it’s to talk about the really serious stuff – he’d spotted that the frame on Guy’s Oakleys is a better match for his QuickStep gear than on his own pair.

You’ll search in vain for pictures of Eddy Merckx in shades – but I suppose many of the riders in this race would enquire; ‘who’s Eddy Merckx?

It’s the finalé tomorrow, Kenny and Iljo or Morgan and Brian?

Watch this space!

 

Results - Grenoble Four Days 2012, Day Three

CLM Par Equipe

1. n°3 KNEISNY-COQUARD / 6 CONORD 34 .862
2. n°9 BRISSE – BOUDAT / 1 KENNY 35 .242
3. n°5 HOFMANN-HESTER / 8 PALMA 35 .694
4. n°6 EDMULLER – STAHR / 3 D’ALMEIDA 36 .485
5. n°2 DEKETELE-KEISSE / 5 BOURGAIN 36 .712
6. n°11 RUFFINENGO – CARISEY / 4 SIREAU 36 .730
7. n°4 CICCONE-MASOTTI / 7 LAFFARGUE 37 .030
8. n°10 FOUACHE – PIJOURLET / 2 BAUGE 38 .071

Série de Sprint 42t

1. n°3 DEKETELE KENNY / KEISSE IIJ0 14pts
2. n°4 CICCONE ANGELO / MASOTTI FABIO 10pts
3. n°2 KNEISKY MORGAN / COQUARD BRYAN 9pts
4. n°5 HOFFMAN NOLAN / HESTER MARC 8pts
5. n°10 FOUACHE KEVIN / PIJOURLET JULES 6pts
6. n°6 EDMULLER BENJAMIN / STAHR MAX 5pts
7. n°9 BRISSE VIVIEN / BOUDAT THOMAS 5pts
8. n°11 RUFFINENGO BASTIEN / CARISEY CLEMENT 5pts
9. n°7 EAST GUY / CAROLL AUSTIN 4pts
10. n°8 IVARS SÉBASTIEN / LAMOISSON MORGAN 0pts
11. n°1 MARVULLI FRANCO / MARGUET TRISTAN 0pts

Chasse 35m

1. n°2 COQUARD BRYAN / KNEISKY MORGAN 20pts
2. n°3 KEISSE IIJ0 / DEKETELE KENNY 12pts
3. n°5 HESTER MARC / HOFFMAN NOLAN 10pts
4. n°4 MASOTTI FABIO / CICCONE ANGELO 8pts
5. n°9 BOUDAT THOMAS / BRISSE VIVIEN 6pts
6. n°10 PIJOURLET JULES / FOUACHE KEVIN 4pts
@ 1 Laps
7. n°11 CARISEY CLEMENT / RUFFINENGO BASTIEN 0p 0pts
8. n°6 STAHR MAX / EDMULLER BENJAMIN 0pts
@ 2 Laps
9. n°8 LAMOISSON MORGAN / IVARS SÉBASTIEN 0pts
@ 3 Laps
10. n°7 CAROLL AUSTIN / EAST GUY 0pts
11. n°1 MARGUET TRISTAN / MARVULLI FRANCO 0pts

Elimination Dossard Noir

1. n°1 MARGUET TRISTAN / MARVULLI FRANCO 10pts
2. n°5 HESTER MARC / HOFFMAN NOLAN 6pts
3. n°2 COQUARD BRYAN / KNEISKY MORGAN 5pts
4. n°4 MASOTTI FABIO / CICCONE ANGELO 4pts
5. n°9 BOUDAT THOMAS / BRISSE VIVIEN 3pts
6. n°11 CARISEY CLEMENT / RUFFINENGO BASTIEN 2pts
7. n°8 LAMOISSON MORGAN / IVARS SÉBASTIEN 0pts
8. n°6 STAHR MAX / EDMULLER BENJAMIN 0pts
9. n°7 CAROLL AUSTIN / EAST GUY 0pts
10. n°10 PIJOURLET JULES / FOUACHE KEVIN 0pts
11. n°3 KEISSE IIJ0 / DEKETELE KENNY 0pts

Scratch 20t'

1. n°1 MARGUET TRISTAN / MARVULLI FRANCO 10pts
2. n°9 BOUDAT THOMAS / BRISSE VIVIEN 6pts
3. n°6 STAHR MAX / EDMULLER BENJAMIN 5pts
4. n°8 LAMOISSON MORGAN / IVARS SÉBASTIEN 4pts
5. n°7 CAROLL AUSTIN / EAST GUY 3pts
6. n°4 MASOTTI FABIO / CICCONE ANGELO 2pts
7. n°10 PIJOURLET JULES / FOUACHE KEVIN 0pts
8. n°3 KEISSE IIJ0 / DEKETELE KENNY 0pts
9. n°11 CARISEY CLEMENT / RUFFINENGO BASTIEN 0pts
10. n°2 COQUARD BRYAN / KNEISKY MORGAN 0pts
11. n°5 HESTER MARC / HOFFMAN NOLAN 0pts

Chasse 20m

1. n°9 BOUDAT THOMAS / BRISSE VIVIEN 20pts
2. n°2 COQUARD BRYAN / KNEISKY MORGAN 12pts
3. n°4 MASOTTI FABIO / CICCONE ANGELO 10pts
4. n°5 HESTER MARC / HOFFMAN NOLAN 8pts
@ 1 Lap
5. n°3 KEISSE IIJ0 / DEKETELE KENNY 6pts
6. n°8 LAMOISSON MORGAN / IVARS SÉBASTIEN 4pts
7. n°11 CARISEY CLEMENT / RUFFINENGO BASTIEN 0pts
8. n°6 STAHR MAX / EDMULLER BENJAMIN 0pts
9. n°7 CAROLL AUSTIN / EAST GUY 0pts
@ 2 Laps
10. n°10 PIJOURLET JULES / FOUACHE KEVIN 0pts
@ 3 Laps
11. n°1 MARGUET TRISTAN / MARVULLI FRANCO 0pts

Elimination Dossard Rouge

1. n°4R MASOTTI Fabio 10pts
2. n°1R MARGUET Tristan 6pts
3. n°5R HESTER Marc 5pts
4. n°3R KEISSE Iijo 4pts
5. n°8R LAMOISSON Morgan 3pts
6. n°6R STAHR Max 2pts
7. n°9R BOUDAT Thomas 0pts
8. n°10R PIJOURLET Jules 0pts
9. n°7R CAROLL Austin 0pts
10. n°11R CARISEY Clement 0pts
11. n°2R COQUARD Bryan 0pts

Elimination par équipe

1. n°2 COQUARD BRYAN / KNEISKY MORGAN 20pts
2. n°3 KEISSE IIJ0 / DEKETELE KENNY 12pts
3. n°4 MASOTTI FABIO / CICCONE ANGELO 10pts
4. n°5 HESTER MARC / HOFFMAN NOLAN 8pts
5. n°7 CAROLL AUSTIN / EAST GUY 6pts
6. n°10 PIJOURLET JULES / FOUACHE KEVIN 4pts
7. n°8 LAMOISSON MORGAN / IVARS SÉBASTIEN 0pts
8. n°6 STAHR MAX / EDMULLER BENJAMIN 0pts
9. n°9 BOUDAT THOMAS / BRISSE VIVIEN 0pts
10. n°11 CARISEY CLEMENT / RUFFINENGO BASTIEN 0pts
DNS n°1 MARGUET TRISTAN / MARVULLI FRANCO 0pts

Keirin GP Conseil général de l'Isère

1. n°1 KENNY Jason 1pts
2. n°3 D’ALMEIDA Michael 2pts
3. n°5 BOURGAIN Mickael 3pts
4. n°2 BAUGE Grégory 4pts
5. n°4 SIREAU Kevin 5pts
6. n°8 PALMA Julien 6pts
7. n°6 CONORD Charlie 7pts
8. n°7 LAFARGUE Quentin 8pts

Sprinters Grand Prix 'No Limit'

1. n°1 KENNY Jason
2. n°2 BAUGE Grégory
3. n°4 SIREAU Kevin
4. n°6 CONORD Charlie
5. n°7 LAFARGUE Quentin
6. n°5 BOURGAIN Mickael
7. n°8 PALMA Julien
8. n°3 D’ALMEIDA Michael

Golden Sprint la Métro - Grenobloise

1. n°2 BAUGE Grégory 10pts
2. n°4 SIREAU Kevin 8pts
3. n°5 BOURGAIN Mickael 6pts
4. n°3 D’ALMEIDA Michael 5pts
5. n°1 KENNY Jason 4pts
6. n°7 LAFARGUE Quentin 3pts
7. n°6 CONORD Charlie 2pts
8. n°8 PALMA Julien 1pts

Master du Sprint SAMSE

1. n°2 BAUGE Grégory 10pts
2. n°4 SIREAU Kevin 8pts
3. n°5 BOURGAIN Mickael 6pts
4. n°3 D’ALMEIDA Michael 5pts
5. n°1 KENNY Jason 4pts
6. n°6 CONORD Charlie 3pts
7. n°8 PALMA Julien 2pts
8. n°7 LAFARGUE Quentin 1pts

Standing after Day Three

1. n°3 KEISSE IIJ0 / DEKETELE KENNY 181pts
@ 1 Lap
2. n°2 COQUARD BRYAN / KNEISKY MORGAN 175pts
@ 2 Laps
3. n°5 HESTER MARC / HOFFMAN NOLAN 114pts
4. n°4 MASOTTI FABIO / CICCONE ANGELO 112pts
@ 5 Laps
5. n°9 BOUDAT THOMAS / BRISSE VIVIEN 72pts
@ 6 Laps
6. n°10 PIJOURLET JULES / FOUACHE KEVIN 56pts
@ 8 Laps
7. n°6 STAHR MAX / EDMULLER BENJAMIN 37pts
@ 10 Laps
8. n°11 CARISEY CLEMENT / RUFFINENGO BASTIEN 30pts
9. n°8 LAMOISSON MORGAN / IVARS SÉBASTIEN 29pts
@ 14 Laps
10. n°1 MARGUET TRISTAN / MARVULLI FRANCO 40pts
11. n°7 CAROLL AUSTIN / EAST GUY 24pts