Tag Archive for ‘Gent Six Day’
Gent Six Day 2016 – aka. the 76th Six Days of Flanders-Ghent (Comments Off)
Historically cold, wet wintery nights meant just one thing in cycling, Six Day racing. In recent years that has really only meant the ‘Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent’ (Six Days of Flanders-Ghent). This great race has continued to be successful during years when many of the other ‘classic’ Six Day races of Europe left their buildings, literally, for the last time to drift into cycling history.
The Westfalenhallen in Dortmund, the Olympic Hall in Munich and the Hallenstadion in Zürich all said goodbye to Six Day racing in the naughties due to financial losses, lack of sponsorship etc, although Zürich did try to comeback with a short-lived four day. It seems they have no such problems in Gent as year after year close to 40,000 fans have come to the Citadel Park to watch their favourites fly around the steeped banked 166.6 metre inside track the legendary Het Kuipke.
Young Scots at the AVS Cup at the Gent Six Day 2016 (Comments Off)
Sunday starts with the climax of the under 23 Six the AVS Cup.
Not long ago I would have struggled to believe that home grown Scottish talent would be riding Gent but with Mark Stewart in the elite event and Andy Brown and Grant Martin in the U23 this is a Scottish success story.
Looking back at the 75th Gent Six Day (Comments Off)
Coming to Gent to watch the Six Day, as I have for 20 years, is like meeting up with an old friend, a friend you see just once a year but when you meet you are familiar and easy in each others company. Most familiar is the velodrome, Het Kuipke that hosts the Six Days which has, barring a few upgrades in the bar areas, changed very little during the time I’ve been coming.
Importantly, it still feels like a bike race rather than a show or party – although the later does have its place here. The fans who come to the event year after year know and respect the tradition that makes this a classic and, really and truly, the last remaining Six Day that has had no identity crisis during these austere times.
Scrapbook: the Gent Six Day and Hasselt ‘Cross, 2015 (Comments Off)
Ed and pals spent a few days at the Gent Six Day, catching up with the racing and old friends, and taking in the world cup cycle-cross race at Hasselt as well – but before we consider the racing at the track we have to think about the entertainment; whilst Belgium is a modern country and advance technologically we still marvel at the track-side entertainment; it’s like stepping back to a miners’ welfare in the 70’s – but the crowd loves it – and so do we…
I remember once, after the last chase in a Six Day I asked Dirk, our Belgian mechanic; ‘was that finale ‘straight’ Dirk?’ He fixed me with a patient stare, much as a good parent would do after their child has said something silly, ‘have you ever seen a ‘straight’ Six Day, Ed?’
I took his point, they’re all pretty much choreographed – but like I keep saying, you have to be able to take laps out of a string riding at 52-53 kph to win. But I reckon that on Sunday evening I did see a straight finale – and our cycling sage and mentor, Vik shares my opinion having watched the finale on the computer; probably getting a better view and appreciation of the racing than I did.
The last 20 minutes or so were savage; up close you could see the pain on the faces with De Ketele and De Buyst looking increasingly determined and Cav and Iljo looking increasingly desperate.
A pictorial summary of the Gent Six Day and our trip to the Koksijde Cyclocross race in the beach dunes of Flanders.
At the track, it took me back to the days when I stood on the apron, bottles at the ready for Kris to hand up – but not too much in them so they don’t splash when the rider grabs them – just taking in the speed, noise, music, heat, people and that Gent buzz – high as a kite on the Gent Six Days.
It’s Lombardia and the Trossachs today; that means just one thing – it’s almost time for the Six Days. It looks like VeloVeritas won’t be emptying any ‘you know what’ pails this year – but you never know . . . We will be at Gent, however – my liver gave a twinge just there – as fans.
De Karper, The Hotel Adoma, Bar Vivaldi, the ‘cross up at Koksijde – I can’t help but smile at the thought. But we thought that you might like to hear what it was like to be a six day runner back in a time when the sixes meant more than they do now. The big road stars were in action and it was full houses all across Europe – particularly in Germany.
John Purser is the man’s name and here’s his tale.
Snapshots from the Gent Six Day 2012, as we roam around the city and spend time with the winners in the bar.
On Sunday it was a steam train – the sound took me back to when I was a boy, and it was nicer than Dave’s snoring. A centre for the Art Nouveaux movement, rich industrialists commissioned the ‘hot’ architects of the day to make sure the world knew that they had taste – and money.
If you look up as you walk around the city, your eyes will be rewarded.
Stephen Penny last report from the Gent Six Day;
The final day of the Gent Six promised a big tussle between the Belgian World Madison Champions De Ketele / Van Hoecke and local hero Iljo Keisse with Glenn O’Shea.They didn’t disappoint.
Dave and I saw our first Six Day in 1973, the Skol sponsored London Six Day – Sercu, Pijnen, Duyndam, Van Lancker . . .
This is Callum’s first trip to the Kuipke but Stuart’s umpteenth. The Adoma has been our base for years – it’s a great jump off for Het Nieuwsblad, Gent-Wevelgem and the Koksijde ‘cross.
Stephen Penny files another report from Het Kuipke;
There are tired legs in the bunch but on a wet and windy Saturday night in Gent all roads again led to the track for another sell out beer and bike racing fest.
Here in Gent Friday night has always been the big night of the Six.
It’s not just about the beer, it’s about the cycling and fans of all ages bring the wife or girlfriend to what is for all concerned a big night out.
A number of the revellers are ex-riders many of whom no doubt spend the night reminiscing on their time pedalling around the hollowed boards of Het Kuipke.
Contributor Steve Penny summarises the action for us from Het Kuipke (the little oval) last night, as we reach the halfway point in the Gent Six Day.
The crowds filed into Het Kuipke in the thousands to meet friends, drink a beer or two and watch the 72nd Gent Six as it approached the all important weekend. Before the racing started it was announced that Wim Stroetinga was out of the race – for now – with a stomach problem. This would explain why he and partner Peter Schep had not been scoring many points over the first two nights.
Englishman Steve Penny is a long time track enthusiast and writer – this will be his 17th consecutive edition of Flanders’ mythical Six Day. Here’s his take on the 72nd edition of what is now unquestionably the hardest six day race on the calendar.
VeloVeritas will be there for Sunday afternoon’s Grand Finale. Champions of the World, or The Prodigal Son – that’s the question which can only be answered on the steep bankings of the Kuipke velodrome.’
Whether it’s a great edition of the Gent Six Days or not, it’s still quite an experience to walk up through the tunnel for the first time.
Especially if the Dernys are up on the track droning out their monotonous tune, there’s the buzz of a thousand conversations, the lights, the throng, the smell of beer, the renners flashing around the bankings, the people piled high up to the roof in the corners – We love it !