Here in Gent Friday night has always been the big night of the Gent Six Day 2012. It's not just about the beer, it’s about the cycling and fans of all ages bring the wife or girlfriend to what is for all concerned a big night out. A number of the revellers are ex-riders many of whom no doubt spend the night reminiscing on their time pedalling around the hollowed boards of Het Kuipke.
Joaquim Rodriguez is building on the foundation of respect he laid at the Giro. The little Catalan isn’t sitting around waiting on Froome bludgeoning him in the ‘contra reloj’ on Wednesday; he’s riding like a champion, ‘la course en tete’ – at the head of the race, especially when heading 'home' to Andorra.
On Friday La Vuelta a Espana arrives in Burgos, Castile y León, having travelled from Rincón de Soto, famous as the pear capital of La Rioja. The riders will have endured almost 200km of undulating terrain, and conquered the Pradilla and Valmala passes towards the end of the stage on the way. Bunch sprint? We wouldn't bet on it.