Tag Archive for ‘Gent Six Day’
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 !
It’s Monday morning, I’m sitting in some horrible ‘theme’ bar at Charleroi Airport. My flight home to Edinburgh is cancelled due to the snow in Auld Scotia and the best I could wangle was Charleroi to Dublin, tonight then Dublin to Prestwick in the morning. My pal Dave has booked me into a hotel at Dublin airport, so I’m as sorted as I can be.
The alternative flight from here was late on Wednesday night. The six all seems a long time ago…
Last year’s Under 25 winner, big Aussie, Alex Carver just landed on the boards, somewhere close to my right ear. Meanwhile, down in the cabin, all of our guys sleep peacefully.
It was mozzarella and ham salad followed by chicken and spaghetti for dinner and a post dinner nap (on the floor) is the last luxury they’ll enjoy, tonight.
Sure enough, the race hasn’t long started and the dope test guys arrive – just like Elliot Ness and the Untouchables; but without the Armani suits – one guy tells me his day job is a plumber – the riders are suitably underwhelmed…
I just received an email from Rapha; “The New Tweed Softshell and City Riding Collection” – that’s exactly what I need, tweed. Set a new trend at the Kuipke…
Maybe not – my shorts have caused enough raised eyebrows.
Night three? Lots of Dernys, lots of beer – Franco sick, Iljo fraying a little at the edges, the Danes calm under fire and bed for us at 03:45…
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.
Last night? It’s tonight, already!
No-one stood out, the home boys had to be seen to do well and De Ketele, Mertens, and of course Iljo, all did the biz.
Who can win? Alex & Michael are favourites but it’s been a long season for both of them and there are some hungry big fish in this pond…
Monday night, 24 hours until the 70th Six Days of Gent commences.
The Derny exhaust fumes are sweet and sickly, like the stench from the Grangemouth chemicals plant on a bad day, the cold air makes them all the more pungent. Five or six riders sit behind the little bike, loosening off stiff legs, dull after hours sitting in aeroplanes or cars.
They’re all wrapped up tight against the cold – Michael Morkov, Steve Schets, Tosh Van Der Sande, Kenny de Ketele and Iljo Keisse. De Ketele wears a balaclava under his crash hat; Iljo has on gloves and leg warmers.
The Gent Six day kicks off next week, so as a way to build the excitement we thought we’d revisit last year’s finalé, with VeloVeritas’ own Ed Hood there and working for the Danish World Madison Champions, Saxo Bank riders Alex Rasmussen and Michael Mørkøv, as well as Swiss star Franco Marvulli. Read on!…