The average speed last night for the first madison of Night Two at the Grenoble Six Day 2010, run over 35 minutes, was 52.310 kph – file under ‘not as slow as Vik says it is.’ The thing you have to remember is that when you’re in Grenoble, you’re much closer to the Mediterranean than you are to the Channel; ‘le Munich Six jours est finis? ah!‘ The cold, grey North is a long way away.
It’s not as laid-back as Spain, but it’s not as frenetic as the North – even in the big supermarkets it doesn’t pay to be in a hurry, the check-out girl seems to know most of her customers.
The mood is reflected at the Six, whilst the Northern guys fret about points and podiums, if the local guys can win the odd scratch or elimination and take the flowers home to their mum or girlfriend, they’re happy.
The sprinters get every bit as much attention, if not more than the Six Day guys – it’s because of the spectacle, big guys switching and swerving around the boards – and it’s over quickly, it lets you get back to gossiping – or your wine.
Talking of sprinters, Sireau narrowly missed his own track record -10.827 to 10.791 on a huge gear whilst the band gave it lalldie.
Being a runner here is a far more gentle affair than at Gent or even Copenhagen – granted we only have two riders but there’s just not the same tension in the air.
The race organisation produces a daily newspaper to cover the race, Speed Gazette – there are race reports, interviews, good pictures and features on visitors to the race – on the first night we had the remarkable Jeannie Longo; 1124 victories, 38 world records, 111 gold medals in French, World and Olympic championships, three Tours de France, 13 world titles, 57 French champinships – the last one coming in June of this year, at 52.
Jéraume Neuville popped by too, he’s a resident of Grenoble – retired these days, but one of the most stylish riders I’ve ever seen.
He was twice World Madison Champion and also World Scratch Champion, and he made the podium several times at the Six here but never won it.