The theme from ‘Star Wars’ plays as the Rotterdam Six Day 2011 U23 riders victory ceremony gets underway – not long ’til the lunch time kick off.
I haven’t seen much of the U23 event, the riders don’t share the area we’re in and when their racing is on I’m usually busy getting our cabin set up.
There’s more of that confusing team changing thing going on again – Terpstra is now with Lampater who was with Stroetinga until he crashed.
Mouris goes with Pronk who’s been dragged back to the fold – I hope he didn’t go on the kebabs and pils, last night.
Lampater is the best possible partner for Terpstra – strong, rock solid, if anyone can prop Niki up then it’s Leif.
Lampater started winning sixes very quickly after he made the transition from world class team pursuiter to ‘squirrel.’
He rode with Zabel – a big plus – and then with Bartko, but that’s a pairing that hasn’t developed – it surely would have, had the grim reaper not culled so many of the German six days.
Organisers in other European races don’t want German domination and keep them apart, whilst in Germany, Bartko now seems more at home riding with Roger Kluge, a big strong boy with a virtual identical style to the ‘Bear of Potsdam’ as Big Bob is known – if I said ‘affectionately known‘ that wouldn’t be true.
I must be going ‘Flatlands Native;’ Giddeon Massie’s manager, Patrick Lyons was moaning about being sick of hearing the ‘Stand up for the Champions‘ song too often – I have to confess to liking it.
It was Points Race to start, then the Team Devil [Elimination] – we won that and I had to trot round with the boys’ towels and caps for the presentation.
There are some lovely looking girls at this race – but you don’t get to see much of them in the depths of the pits.
On a serious note, ‘The Keisse Affair’ is feeding on itself and becoming much more than the sum of the parts.
The Belgian Government is involved, they’re asking the Belgian Federation to clarify what it’s relationship is with the UCI.
They’re concerned that the UCI is acting as if it’s above EU law – in particular the Bosman ‘right to work‘ ruling.
There’s even speculation that should the UCI act to enforce the ban, and the financial penalties – which the Belgian court has ruled must be paid if Keisse is denied a start in a race – are not paid, then UCI assets may be seized.
“Mess” is not the word.
But the scuttle butt is that Pat is coming up to Rotterdam on Monday to sort it all out – we can hardly wait.
He was boo-ed by the crowd at the Belgian cyclo-cross championships on Sunday; I wonder what reception he’ll get here?
Talking of the ‘cross champs, you lose all sense of time perspective at a Six.As I was running an errand, I passed the main entrance and through the glass I could see that it was a glorious day, ideal for ‘cross I thought, then ‘how is it daylight, what’s happening?‘ I’d forgotten that it was an afternoon session.
As Patrick Lyons said, it’s like going into a casino in ‘Vegas – no windows, no clocks, nothing to judge reality by.
The music really has been good at this race, it’s eclectic but very listenable, The ‘Quo or Van Halen blasting out during a chase works perfectly.
We had visitors from Vacansoleil, this afternoon – in particular their Slovenian sprinter, Borut Božič.
He looks lean and mean – and on the subject of Vacansoleil; their team launch is my next mission.
I got up at 07:00 this morning (Monday) to tidy this piece up and get my ‘runner stuff’ done before the launch at 09:00 around in the conference hall, here at the Ahoy.
I best grab a coffee and bolt – I’ll let you know how it goes.
Rotterdam Six Day 2011 Result
1 Kenny van Hummel (Ned) / Andreas Müller (Ger) 10 pts
2 Jeff Vermeulen (Ned) / Tim