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Grenoble Four Day 2012, Day Four: Iljo & Kenny Win, with a Doublette!

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Watching a dream die is never nice, but if it’s done quickly and clinically, then it’s humane, at least. Here at the Grenoble Four Day, Iljo Keisse and Kenny De Ketele were ruthless executioners in the last chase in the small hours of Sunday morning.

Grenoble Four Day
Kneisky and Coquard took a tremendous fight to Kiesse and De Ketele. Photo©Ed Hood

Bryan Coquard and Morgan Kneisky rode with panache and bravery, in what I believe was a 100% ‘straight’ finale.

Inside the last 50 laps of 180 the Belgians attacked – we were waiting for it.

Grenoble Four Day
Under pressure or not, Iljo Keisse rides his silky smooth line on the boards. Photo©Ed Hood

Keisse thunders round the track like he’s on a monorail, the ultimate stylist.

Grenoble Four Day
Kenny De Ketele. Photo©Ed Hood

De Ketele isn’t as smooth but the power is there – he has those super fit riders’ ‘roadmaps’ on his inner thighs.

They took the lap quickly, cleanly – beautiful to watch.

Grenoble Four Day
The French guys start to look a bit desperate. Photo©Ed Hood
Grenoble Four Day
Bryan hurts. Photo©Ed Hood

The French countered, but were digging deep, if Coquard’s face was telling the truth, this night was perhaps the hardest he’s ever tried in a bike race.

Grenoble Four Day
Morgan really tries. Photo©Ed Hood

Eventually they made the junction, gasping like fish, out of water and desperate for oxygen.

But it was of no consequence – the Belgians had done what only the real stars can do; when they made the junction with the peloton, they didn’t ease, took no ‘breather,’ simply rode straight ‘over the top’ to continue their infernal charge.

It was brilliant bike riding – and it spelt the end for the French, they had nothing left to give, they’d gone to the depths to take the lap.

Grenoble Four Day
The winners after an amazing final madison, Iljo and Kenny. Photo©Ed Hood

The Belgians weren’t risking it on sprint points, not against the class and speed of the French – it was brute strength and experience which won the day.

Grenoble Four Day
Nolan heaves Marc into the race. Photo©Ed Hood
Grenoble Four Day
Nolan Hoffman. Photo©Ed Hood

And a shame that Marc Hester couldn’t quite coax Nolan Hoffman on to the podium – they lost out to the Italians Angelo Ciccone and Fabio Masotti.

The beautiful weather at the start of the race had given way to snow squals by Saturday night and it was close to a full house as the speaker did the introductions.

Grenoble Four Day
Tristan was paired with Guy for tonight’s racing. Points from their respective teams added together and halved, er, averaged. Photo©Ed Hood

The evening started on a ‘down’ note with our boy, Austin Carroll pulled out and his partner, Guy East was paired up with Swiss fast man, Tristan Marguet.

Tristan was originally teamed with Franco, but with Franco out because of illness, the organisers wanted a solid rider like Marguet in the last chase.

Austin had been improving as each day passed and was riding at least as well as the lower ranked French guys – but his mum, dad, sisters, brothers, girlfriend and workmates weren’t up in the stands…

Grenoble Four Day
Race Organiser Bernard Thévenet and the boys. Photo©Ed Hood

But Bernard Thévenet popped by to give Austin his prime cash personally, that was cool.

Our friend Vik was really captivated by the ‘contortioniste’ in the box we mentioned the other day – so I made sure I got a close up, just for him.

Grenoble Four Day
Cesar Pindo – a Man in a Box. Photo©Ed Hood

He is a remarkable chap.  Vik, that is.

Grenoble Four Day
The Keirin kicks in, complete with cameraman on the back of the bike. Photo©Ed Hood

The sprinters’ Keirin was another half-hearted affair – maybe I’m becoming a ‘track snob,’ but I wasn’t knocked out by the sprinting, this year.

Except for Jason Kenny that is – he is one fast laddie.

Next up was the 42 lap Points Race, six sprints, one every seven laps.

On the last day of a Six Day (or a Four Day, as here), races like this aren’t that hotly contested – most thoughts are about the 180 laps to come after midnight.

More sprinting; and no-one here looks like they’ll beat Jason Kenny come the Worlds in February.

The 20 minute Pro Chase is next, with too many teams on the zero lap for it to have been serious.

Grenoble Four Day
Lobster-sorting implements. We think. Photo©Ed Hood

Meanwhile the diners attack even more seafood, the tools are laid out for them as neatly as Dirk’s Campag spanners.

More sprints, those remarkable men twirl and dangle on their trapeze – then the De’il for ‘dossard rouge.’

Grenoble Four Day
Mechanic Dirk Dekesayer stays close in case Kenny needs anything when warming up for one last time here at Grenoble. Photo©Ed Hood

Kenny De Ketele takes it – I think he just wanted the flowers.

The Folies girls do their thing then it’s the Team Sprint.

Three laps, flying start with the Pro teams ‘launching’ their sprinter.

Grenoble Four Day
Boom! Track record from the guys, Jason completing the team. Photo©Ed Hood

Kneisky winds it on the fence, he dives, it’s quick, Coquard, quicker still, Kenny, warp factor – track record: 34.643.

Grenoble Four Day
Enjoying the spoils after that Mach 2 effort. Photo©Ed Hood

Wow!

Coquard reminds me of the American rider Colby Pearce, presenting a tiny frontal area to the wind but with a good engine.

The 20 lap ‘Balustrade‘ Sprint, the string rides high, larks around, hands off, pull their jerseys up – probably best watched after a few beers…

Next up is an attempt on the track lap record – it’s a 10.7 which I think still stands to Florian Rousseau?

The cream of French sprinting is up on the boards, French, European and World junior and senior champions – plus Jason Kenny.

Conord, Palma, Bauge, Bourgain, D’Almedia – none can crack 11 seconds.

Grenoble Four Day
Jason takes the applause. Photo©Ed Hood

Kenny, powering it round the fence, he dives, it’s quick – 10.9.

There was €7,000 on the table for the record.

Just Sireau to go – last man to go as befits the World Record Holder: 9.5 for 200 metres.

Grenoble Four Day
Kevin winds it up. Photo©Ed Hood

He’s a big man and his momentum takes him down off the fence like a cruise missile dropping from a B52; 10.9 – but Kenny pips him.

That was good racing.

And a tall order for Kenny to get the lap record after four nights of racing.

Grenoble Four Day
The gold acrobats, Trio Laruss. Photo©Ed Hood
Grenoble Four Day
These guys have an amazing balancing act. Photo©Ed Hood

The ‘Golden Statues’ – I can’t resist more pictures: Vik won’t be happy.

More sprints – Kenny again.

Grenoble Four Day
It may be a team race, but it’s a De’il and Bryan takes some beating in those. Photo©Ed Hood

The Team De’il, it’s nippy – Coquard is best.

Grenoble Four Day
Gregory is a Frenchman, and we’re in France… Photo©Ed Hood

The Sprint final; it looks good ’til Baugé beats Kenny on the line – where did he find that second, he was off the pace in the flying lap? And isn’t he looking a tiny bit heavy…

Tristan wins the De’il for ‘dossards noire‘.

The Folies girls need a “Man After Midnight” and shortly thereafter there’s a whole track full of them.

The speaker asks for applause; ‘pour tous les équipes‘ before the final 180 laps – and that’s fair enough, they deserve it.

Grenoble Four Day
Morgan and Iljo hammer it. Photo©Ed Hood

The 2012 Four Days of Grenoble was not a bad race at all.

* * *

And before they vanished into the night, Iljo and Kenny took time to talk to us, Iljo said this;

“I’d heard some positive stories about Coquard, that he was fast and strong – and as the week progressed, we could see in the supporting scratch and elimination races that he had a lot of talent.

“But in the 35 minute chase each night we could also see that whilst he’s fast, he’s also very young and needs more strength.

“The last chase was the longest of the week and we knew it would be decisive.

“Now I’m going to prepare for my home Six Day in Gent. If the weather is good then I’ll stay in Belgium, training on the track and behind the motorbike, but if the weather is bad then I’ll go to Spain and do the hours on the road.”

We asked Iljo what plans he had for the remainder of the winter, after Gent;

“I won’t be riding the World Cup in Glasgow,  but will be going to team training camp with my QuickStep teammates after Gent. I’ll be riding the Six Days of Rotterdam but not at Zürich – I have another training camp.

“I won’t be riding at Bremen either but will ride either Berlin or Copenhagen. It’s a shame that the Six Day season is shrinking but it means you can pick and chose your races to fit in with your road commitments. Maybe that’s not good for the Six Days, but it’s good for the riders.

“I’ll be riding at Gent with the Australian, Glenn O’Shea, it’ll be my first time riding with him, but he’s proved his quality in the Worlds and Olympics. He’s promised me he’ll do everything to be in the best possible shape for the race. He says that his two big goals for the second half of the season were the Olympics – and Gent.

“He says he’s ‘thrilled’ to be riding with me – and I’m certainly looking forward to it.’

Whilst Kenny said this as he enjoyed a celebratory Leffe;

“It’s pretty much as Iljo says, it was close on points all week, the French are fast guys, so we knew we had to win on lap gains.

“We won with a ‘doublette’ (taking two laps, one after the other) and that’s the nicest way to win.

But the French guys are young and fast – they have the potential to be Six Day winners in the future.

“I’m back with my partner from the Worlds at the Gent six day, Gils Van Hoecke. But I don’t know how the French guys will find it there, with two 45 minute chases each night.”

Grenoble Four Day
Kenny celebrates victory in the Grenoble Four Days with partner Iljo Keisse. Photo©Ed Hood

See you in Gent?

* * *

Results - Grenoble Four Days 2012, Day Four

Série de Sprint 42t

1. n°9 BRISSE VIVIEN / BOUDAT THOMAS 11pts
2. n°3 DEKETELE KENNY / KEISSE IIJ0 10pts
3. n°7 MARGUET TRISTAN / EAST GUY 8pts
4. n°2 KNEISKY MORGAN / COQUARD BRYAN 8pts
5. n°5 HOFFMAN NOLAN / HESTER MARC 8pts
6. n°10 FOUACHE KEVIN / PIJOURLET JULES 6pts
7. n°4 CICCONE ANGELO / MASOTTI FABIO 5pts
8. n°11 RUFFINENGO BASTIEN / CARISEY CLEMENT 1p 4pts
9. n°8 IVARS SÉBASTIEN / LAMOISSON MORGAN 3pts
10. n°6 EDMULLER BENJAMIN / STAHR MAX 3pts

Chasse 20m

1. n°2 KNEISKY MORGAN / COQUARD BRYAN 20pts
2. n°3 DEKETELE KENNY / KEISSE IIJ0 12pts
3. n°4 CICCONE ANGELO / MASOTTI FABIO 10pts
4. n°9 BRISSE VIVIEN / BOUDAT THOMAS 8pts
5. n°5 HOFFMAN NOLAN / HESTER MARC 6pts
6. n°7 MARGUET TRISTAN / EAST GUY 4pts
@ 1 Lap
7. n°11 RUFFINENGO BASTIEN / CARISEY CLEMENT 0pts
8. n°6 EDMULLER BENJAMIN / STAHR MAX 0pts
9. n°8 IVARS SÉBASTIEN / LAMOISSON MORGAN 0pts
10. n°10 FOUACHE KEVIN / PIJOURLET JULES 0pts

Elimination Dossard Noir

2. n°2N KNEISKY Morgan 6pts
3. n°4N CICCONE Angelo 5pts
4. n°6N EDMULLER Benjamin 4pts
5. n°9N BRISSE Vivien 3pts
6. n°5N HOFFMAN Nolan 2pts
7. n°11N RUFFINENGO Bastien 0pts
8. n°10N FOUACHE Kevin 0pts
9. n°8N IVARS Sebastien 0pts
10. n°7N EAST Guy 0pts

Scratch 20t'

1. n°8 IVARS SÉBASTIEN / LAMOISSON MORGAN 10pts
2. n°9 BRISSE VIVIEN / BOUDAT THOMAS 6pts
3. n°6 EDMULLER BENJAMIN / STAHR MAX 5pts
4. n°4 CICCONE ANGELO / MASOTTI FABIO 4pts
5. n°10 FOUACHE KEVIN / PIJOURLET JULES 3pts
6. n°11 RUFFINENGO BASTIEN / CARISEY CLEMENT 2pts
7. n°2 KNEISKY MORGAN / COQUARD BRYAN 0pts
8. n°5 HOFFMAN NOLAN / HESTER MARC 0pts
9. n°7 MARGUET TRISTAN / EAST GUY 0pts
10. n°3 DEKETELE KENNY / KEISSE IIJ0 0pts

Elimination Dossard Rouge

1. n°7R MARGUET Tristan 10pts
2. n°3R KEISSE Iijo 6pts
3. n°2R COQUARD Bryan 5pts
4. n°4R MASOTTI Fabio 4pts
5. n°9R BOUDAT Thomas 3pts
6. n°6R STAHR Max 2pts
7. n°8R LAMOISSON Morgan 0pts
8. n°10R PIJOURLET Jules 0pts
9. n°5R HESTER Marc 0pts
10. n°11R CARISEY Clement 0pts

Elimination par équipe

1. n°2 KNEISKY MORGAN / COQUARD BRYAN 20pts
2. n°3 DEKETELE KENNY / KEISSE IIJ0 12pts
3. n°4 CICCONE ANGELO / MASOTTI FABIO 10pts
4. n°5 HOFFMAN NOLAN / HESTER MARC 8pts
5. n°9 BRISSE VIVIEN / BOUDAT THOMAS 6pts
6. n°10 FOUACHE KEVIN / PIJOURLET JULES 4pts
7. n°8 IVARS SÉBASTIEN / LAMOISSON MORGAN 0pts
8. n°11 RUFFINENGO BASTIEN / CARISEY CLEMENT 0pts
9. n°7 MARGUET TRISTAN / EAST GUY 0pts
10. n°6 EDMULLER BENJAMIN / STAHR MAX 0pts

Chasse Finale 180t

1. n°3 DEKETELE KENNY / KEISSE IIJ0 20pts
@ 1 Lap
2. n°2 KNEISKY MORGAN / COQUARD BRYAN 12pts
@ 2 Laps
3. n°4 CICCONE ANGELO / MASOTTI FABIO 10pts
4. n°5 HOFFMAN NOLAN / HESTER MARC 8pts
@ 3 Laps
5. n°9 BRISSE VIVIEN / BOUDAT THOMAS 6pts
6. n°8 IVARS SÉBASTIEN / LAMOISSON MORGAN 4pts
7. n°10 FOUACHE KEVIN / PIJOURLET JULES 0pts
8. n°6 EDMULLER BENJAMIN / STAHR MAX 0pts
9. n°7 MARGUET TRISTAN / EAST GUY 0pts
@ 4 Laps
10. n°11 RUFFINENGO BASTIEN / CARISEY CLEMENT 0pts

Keirin GP Conseil général de l'Isère

1. n°1 KENNY Jason 1pts
2. n°3 D’ALMEIDA Michael 2pts
3. n°2 BAUGE Grégory 3pts
4. n°7 LAFARGUE Quentin 4pts
5. n°8 PALMA Julien 5pts
6. n°5 BOURGAIN Mickael 6pts
7. n°6 CONORD Charlie 7pts
8. n°4 SIREAU Kevin 8pts

Golden Sprint la Métro - Record du Tour

1. n°1 KENNY Jason 10 .942
2. n°4 SIREAU Kevin 10 .968
3. n°5 BOURGAIN Mickael 11 .125
4. n°3 D’ALMEIDA Michael 11 .172
5. n°6 CONORD Charlie 11 .218
6. n°8 PALMA Julien 11 .310
7. n°2 BAUGE Grégory 11 .940
DNS n°7 LAFARGUE Quentin 0pts

Master du Sprint SAMSE

1. n°2 BAUGE Grégory 10pts
2. n°1 KENNY Jason 8pts
3. n°5 BOURGAIN Mickael 6pts
4. n°6 CONORD Charlie 5pts
5. n°3 D’ALMEIDA Michael 4pts
6. n°8 PALMA Julien 3pts
7. n°4 SIREAU Kevin 2pts
8. n°7 LAFARGUE Quentin 1pts

Final Standing after Day Four

1. n°3 KEISSE IIJ0 / DEKETELE KENNY 293pts
@ 1 Lap
2. n°2 COQUARD BRYAN / KNEISKY MORGAN 293pts
@ 4 Laps
3. n°4 MASOTTI FABIO / CICCONE ANGELO 212pts
4. n°5 HESTER MARC / HOFFMAN NOLAN 185pts
@ 7 Laps
5. n°9 BOUDAT THOMAS / BRISSE VIVIEN 160pts
@ 12 Laps
6. n°10 PIJOURLET JULES / FOUACHE KEVIN 79pts
@ 13 Laps
7. n°6 STAHR MAX / EDMULLER BENJAMIN 60pts
@ 15 Laps
8. n°8 LAMOISSON MORGAN / IVARS SÉBASTIEN 63pts
@ 16 Laps
9. n°11 CARISEY CLEMENT / RUFFINENGO BASTIEN 38pts
@ 19 Laps
10. n°1 MARGUET TRISTAN / EAST GUY 71pts
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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