Sunday, July 25, 2021
HomeDiariesLotto Zesdaagse van Hasselt 2007 - Day 2

Lotto Zesdaagse van Hasselt 2007 – Day 2


“Aint go bump no mo’ with no big fat woman!” Seventies disco and Six Day racing – Hot Chocolate, Van McCoy, Cool and the Gang and Joe Tex; the biz! It’s 19.35 and the theme from Chariots of Fire is blasting-out, it’s the Lotto Zesdaagse van Hasselt 2007 and we’re off!

A sprint series to start, then a team devil, which Bruno and Franco win – they want those points – 15 for a win.

Lotto Zesdaagse van Hasselt 2007
Bruno & Frank talk tactics and enjoy the break during the sprint events.

Next-up it’s the three lap time trial, they win that too, by one hundredth, beating Alexander Aeschbach and Dimitri De Fauw. What ever else De Fauw may be, he’s rapid; Franco gives us a little dance to celebrate the win.

Derny time but the crowd is still thin; the venue’s location, in an industrial estate on the fringes of town doesn’t help. Franco tells me; ‘I hate the Dernys man!’ Keisse wins, now isn’t that a surprise?

One of the security guys comes to see me; “Guys to see you, from Schkotlant.” It’s Stuart Anthony and John Young from Edinburgh, beers in hand and there to worship their god – Bruno; nice to see them. Kris doesn’t believe I didn’t have a beer with them.

Lotto Zesdaagse van Hasselt 2007
Stuart & John are regular visitors to the Pro sixes.

Talking of beer, the mechanics are banging it down tonight and one masseur is even sniffing the contact tyre adhesive – maybe that’s how you go if you do too many sixes?

Matt Gilmore comes to visit, the other riders seem completely under-whelmed, but Matt doesn’t appear to notice, or care. It’s a hard question; “what do you do if you are a six day rider, but can’t ride them?”

One lap time trial next; Bruno does the three lap wind-up and Franco gives it the gas for the timing beam, but just as Bruno reaches back to give Franco the hand-sling, Franco’s tyre catches a bump on the boards and he has to grab the bars to avoid crashing.

Bruno aint happy, but they get another chance. “Kris,” I say, “am I right in assuming that if that was any other rider than Bruno, they wouldn’t get another kick at the ball?” Kris just smiles.

Second time round they are quick, but not as quick as big-diesel wind-up man Aeschbach and the flying De Fauw who win by a street. The chase is last event tonight, 50 minutes plus ten laps. There’s a gentlemen’s agreement for the first few laps just to ride the legs in before the big guns fire.

Lotto Zesdaagse van Hasselt 2007
Matt Gilmore.

It’s not as good a race as last night, Franco and Bruno are flying; Villa is his usual rock-solid self and Keisse is eager to impress, word is that he sat-out Stuttgart as part of his preparation for this race.

Slippens isn’t back to his best yet, that look on his face when he’s “resting” tells its own story, he and Stam look like third place to me.

Aeschbach is strong and reliable but De Fauw hasn’t got it when the chases are hard – if he did, then he wouldn’t have all that speed too.

Villa and Keisse top the board at the end of the night – Iljo’s dad will be chuffed at least. By the time I leave the track centre, most of the mecanics are well drunk.

Talking of which, we had ONE beer with John and Stuart after the race, a good bar too – disco, Johny Cash and 50’s stuff. It’s just a pity it was 02.30 am, that didn’t bother the derny drivers who were there for a full sesh by the looks of things. The fat guy scooping like an expert was Michel Vaarten, former Olympic kilometre medallist and six day man; fame – it’s a fleeting thing.

Talk to you tomorrow, we’ll be half way by then.

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Grenoble Six Day 2011 – Sixth Night

Last day - it's not a big programme, sprint series, team time trial and the closing 180 lap chase. By six day standards that's not a long chase, around 38 K - at Copenhagen they have 300 lappers on a 250 track - but here, it's heavy duty for the small teams. Franco reckons that Kris and I should have dinner in the track centre, tonight - well, it sounded good to me.

Gent Six Day 2010 – Nights Five and Six, Iljo-Schep Hold On

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...

Grenoble Six Day 2009 – Day Two; ‘Descende!’

It's 3:00 pm on Saturday and time for my 'pression' - draught beer - at Bar Clemenceau, I coincide this with a trip to the shops, so as not to arouse too much suspicion. The weather is glorious, despite the carpet of leaves on many of the side walks, it's like a Scottish summer day. Shorts are fine - essential in the heat of the velodrome - in the sunshine and the frantic Grenoble traffic is on valium for the day.

The Last Three Nights of the Rotterdam Six Day 2019

Kris heads straight for breakfast from the camper but I’m not man enough for that, I need the shower to bring me to life before I can face Rotterdam Six Day 2019, Day Four...

Copenhagen Six Day 2009 – Day 5

Susie, my chow chow would love these meat balls; cold, greasy, smelly with around one percent meat content; it's a pity she's not here - but think how awful it would be if she bit Danny Stam. Dinner time at the restaurant; day one the food was cool, but as the week goes on, the menu refuses to budge and the temperature of the food drops; 'not good for riders to eat cold pasta,' says Ronnie our number two soigneur.

Rotterdam Six Day 2011 – Day Five, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

At the Rotterdam Six Day 2011 and I'm sitting next to this chap, drinking my coffee, eating my Vacansoleil cookie and thinking; 'I should know who he is, he's the double of Ezequiel Mosquera.' Then the penny dropped; it was Old Zeke, in person, my - now tarnished - hero from the Vuelta.

At Random

Sestriere-Colle delle Finestre Gran Fondo on 24 July

Turin, 29 June 2016 – The iconic gravel roads of the Colle delle Finestre and the finish line at Sestriere, scene of epic gestures by generations of pro riders, are two of the features that define the story of the Gran Fondo La Marmotte – Sestriere – Colle delle Finestre. The sportive ride organised by RCS Sport / RCS Active Team, now in its second edition, will be held on Sunday 24 July.

KBC Driedaagse van De Panne-Koksijde – Day 2, Middelkerke to Zottegem

Stage one is Middelkerke (home to the Tom Boonen fan club) to Zottegem, wearing-on for 200 K, when you include two laps of a circuit in the 'bergs' near Oudenaarde. All of the hills which give Het Volk, Kuurne, De Panne and Flanders their particular character are contained within a relatively small area.

Eddie Alexander – 4th in the Seoul Olympic Sprint; “I wish I knew then, what I know now”

Whilst Seoul in 1988 was no ‘Beijing Gold Rush’ the performances of the GB riders opened eyes and proved that Olympic medals weren’t just a pipe dream. A young Englishman called Colin Sturgess narrowly missed bronze in the pursuit and a Highlander called Eddie Alexander took fourth in the sprint.

Theo de Rooij – One of the World’s Best Pro Riders and Directeur Sportifs

He had a stellar amateur career in a Golden Era for Netherlands Cycling; rode for four of the sport’s most famous teams – Ijsboerke, Capri Sonne, Raleigh and Panasonic; was a highly successful team manager and is still deeply involved with the sport he loves. VeloVeritas is delighted to be able to bring you the thoughts of Mr. Theo de Rooij.

Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 13: Tours > Saint-Amand-Montrond, 173km. Saxo Bank Ambush

Cav and Contador, how can you not respect them? We missed the mad action today and the anticipated Saxo Bank Ambush; we were driving from the stage start to the digs and thought we had nothing better to do than find a bar to watch proceedings.

The Legend that is Danny Clark

With all this Six Day chat we thought it might be nice to re-run this interview we did with Danny Clark some six years ago - jingz! where does time go? We hope you enjoy it...