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Grenoble Six Day 2009 – Day Four; Distractions


I had a great dream last night after day four; I won a mountain stage of the Tour, I was on my way to the press conference when I woke up – maybe just as well, knowing my luck it would be one of my ex-wives asking the questions. Four days down and two to go, the racing wasn’t too intense; there are a lot of ‘tired laddies’ on that track, and a lot of distractions to contend with too…

Aeschi hangs out at Franco’s cabin for a while.

When I first came to Grenoble a few years ago, they had a disco in the bar below the track, every night. Frenchmen who looked grey and heavy-legged in the chases banged a few Kronenbourgs down them and were soon “getting down on it’ on the dance floor – only to return to the next night’s chase even greyer and heavier-legged.

Ah, the good old days!

Jens is bored, so Daniel gets his picture taken.

I was meant to interview Iljo Keisse, last night but the noise was too much – we’re scheduled to meet at the cabin at 5:30 pm.

The final result of his Gent Six ‘positif’ hearing is announced today – I hope it’s a good result for the Belgian, or I’ll need to find another interview subject!

As I walked back round to our cabin, the two young US guys – Guy East and Austin Carroll – gave me a holler; apparently they’ve been reading my Six Day stuff for years – I knew somebody must look at it!

We’re going to have an interview tonight – I’m looking forward to it, the young US guys are always so enthusiastic.

I asked Jens-Erik how the youngsters were going; ‘they’re not dangerous, but they’re not strong, but that’s normal for two young guys, it’s much easier and better if a young guy is teamed with an experienced guy, to help him learn.’

I managed to infiltrate the track centre tonight – hope you like the Folies shots!

Some folk are always at me to get shots of partially clothed ladies – these should quieten him for a while.

It’s a bike race love, honest.
The start of VR’s distractions section?

There’s more bad news from the North – if advanced ticket sales for the Bremen Six Day aren’t good then there’ll be no bike racing there, just a carnival – ouch!

Franco poses.
But the singer pointedly ignored him.

The crowd was a little down, last night, but most of the 99 (I checked the numbers) tables were full.

Keisse leads Carroll.

It would be great to be here as a civilian, collar and tie, a few friends, the girls, nice food, good wine – maybe one of these days?

But at the end of the night, I’d automatically want to tidy the cabins.

Guy East says hi.

One of the race stats is that it’s been 19 years (1991) since a French team won here in Grenoble.

Albeit one of them, Colotti won again in 1994 with Aussie pursuit star, Dean Woods.

In ’91 Colotti was teamed with beaver’s tail hair cut sporter, Tarantini.

The final chase was ‘for real’ but it looked like Stephen Roche and Tony Doyle had it nailed.

However, Tarantini attacked late in the day – his haircut making it look for all the world like a racoon had leapt from the crowd and attached itself to his crash hat – but it seemed like time wasn’t on his side as the minutes then laps ticked away.

The clock showed zero, but on that lap – after the race had finished – Tarantini made the junction, took the lap and “won” the six.

Stephen Roche is still miffed about that one; I’ve heard him talk about it during his Eurosport commentaries.

Austin Carroll slings Guy East into the fray.

Anyway – it’s Monday afternoon now, almost time to bring up the bags,shoes, helmets, glasses, and drinks, ready for night five – best get to work.

Au revoir!

Franco gets to work too, plotting his race strategies.
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.

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