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Trinidad & Tobago – Day Four, Walter Perez goes for Ice Cream!

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I took in excess of 200 shots at the race on Wednesday night, that takes a bit of editing; and the minute folks see you with a camera, they want pics too – still, if it means you get Olympic Madison Champion Walter Perez’s email address, then it’s not so bad.

As well as to VeloVeritas, Walter Perez and the race organiser, photos had to go to Franco, Leif Lampater, Sebastian Donadio and Roberto Chiappa – it all takes time, so does the copy and it was early afternoon before I shut the lid on the laptop.

Mid-morning, when the guys were going for a run on the bikes, Roberto Chiappa ambled out on to the balcony with his coffee to bid them ‘bon voyage,’ meanwhile, Andreas Muller shouted up; ‘I’ve just spoken to your coach Roberto, he say’s it’s three hours for you today!

Si, si‘ smiled Roberto as he took another sip of coffee.

Walter Perez
The others train, Roberto chills.
Walter Perez
The boys give Roberto some cheek.

We had an afternoon visit to an ice cream parlour as the PR exercise for the day.

Arnold arrived with the mini buses, we all piled in and headed for the Haagen-Dazs.

Walter Perez
How do pro track cyclists relax? Why, by going for an ice cream of course.

I ended up sitting beside Pan Am Games keirin champ, Giddeon Massie – when you hear that he does a bit of modelling, it’s no surprise, he’s tall, muscular and handsome.

Walter Perez
Giddeon ponders.

As well as keirin, he rides sprint, with a best of 10.3 and kilometre with 1:02 as his best.

I thought he was perhaps a little aloof, but it’s just reserve and we chatted away for ages about the US sprint scene.

The US Federation doesn’t support it’s sprinters at all, if they want to go to World Cups then that’s fine but there’s no dough, no coach, no nothin’ – those GB guys don’t know how lucky they are.

Walter Perez is cool, he hasn’t got the best English but his sense of humour is good – he’s always up to a bit of nonsense and wasn’t happy ’til we had a pic of him exposing Pete’s tattoo.

Walter Perez
WWalter Perez checks out Pete’s tattoo.

Speaking of Pete, when folks hear you’re going to le Tour or Trinidad, they immediately think; ‘sunshine, coffee, beer – wooaa!’

But the fact is that there’s no such thing as a free lunch; Pete is never off the phone and fields texts and emails by the shoal – whilst it’s a cool gig, it’s by no means a hassle-free one.

Walter Perez
Peter hard at work.

On the topic of politics, the day we arrived, parliament was dissolved and a general election was called – long story, won’t bore you – and a general election has been called for 24th May.

Unlike the UK (where it’s unusual to hear at political debate among ordinary folks that lasts more than a few sentences and doesn’t end with mention of the expenses scandal) the folks here are very politically aware and there are lots of ‘coffee shop experts’ holding court.

And on that ‘coffee shop’ note, I’ll bolt – before they start to charge me rent in here.

Track racing starts tonight, tell you about it tomorrow.

Ciao, ciao.

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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