Who makes sure the wheels turn smoothly during a six day race? The mechanics are the men who change the gears, stick on the tyres, endlessly polish the paintwork and pick up the pieces after crashes. They arrive first to build the bikes up and leave last after having stripped the bikes down for transit. What makes a man want to roam Europe, often driving a thousand kilometres through the night to get to the next race - or to get home? PEZ spoke to circuit spanner man, Dirk Dekeyser at the recent Grenoble Six.
‘Burrows, le Pantani Anglais,’ said the French papers - when PEZ saw that le Plateau de Beille climb was included in the 2011 Tour route we decided we had to have a word about it with the man who once held the record for the tough 10 mile ascent.
They may sound like a lounge singing duet, but there's no schmaltz to these guy's mission; they're trying to build a career playing to that most demanding of houses - a six day crowd. We caught up with the two 22 year olds - Guy from Indianapolis and Austin from Orange County - a few days into the six days of Grenoble.
Ed Hood is at it again as we roll through the middle third of the Grenoble Six. His sleeping hours are comparable to a toddler's age, but his stories are only picking up steam. In this dispatch the the tales are plentiful: from Track God Patrick Sercu, to police chases, to crashes, all the way to Alpe d'Huez.
Ed Hood is once again doing the thankless job of Runner at the Grenoble Six, but though it's low paying and the hours endless, can you imagine a better way to get in on the action? Mr. Hood takes us directly into the fray for a recap of Days 1 and 2.