By Bjorn Haake in Gent, Belgium
Austin Carroll and Guy East continued in second place at the Gent UIV talents cup after Thursday's night three. The under-23 event is held before the professionals take to the track. Carroll and East ended the night one lap behind the Belgian duo of Stijn Steels and Tosh van der Sande. The leaders have 60 points, the Americans scored 41 points so far.
The Americans led after night one, but fell to second on the subsequent night and were unable to make up ground on the Belgians on Thursday. Their coach, Clay Worthington, had a simple explanation. "They are tired now. We have been here since October 18." The pair raced the Six Days in Amsterdam, Dortmund and Munich before taking to the boards at 't Kuipke.
The pair's time in Europe is drawing to a close. "It is the end of their block," said Worthington. After Gent, it is straight back to the United States, but Worthington saw a lot of benefits to the long stay abroad. "Last year, they were competing for sixth. Now, they compete for the win."
The track in Gent is only 166 metres and has very steep banking. This can be difficult to get used to, especially when a rider's home track, like East's, is very different. "He only has a flat 400m track to train on," Worthington said. Carroll is off a bit better, coming from Los Angeles, the home of a world class indoor facility. "He trains on the track in Carson a lot," Worthington said. The two can train together only when they get together at a camp.