Keisse switches emphasis to road racing after highly successful track season
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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Keisse switches emphasis to road racing after highly successful track season

by VeloNation Press at 7:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
Belgian will channel ambition into races with Omega Pharma Quick Step

Iljo KeisseHaving had a highly successful track season with four Six Day victories plus the European championships, Belgian rider Iljo Keisse is refocusing on what he wants to be a big year with the Omega Pharma Quick Step team.

He completed his track season on Tuesday when he and racing partner Marc Hester triumphed in the Copenhagen Six. The duo beat the Danes Alex Rasmussen and Michael Morkov in a thrilling final day of racing.

After a period of readjustment, he is hoping to achieve the same level of performance in the road races he is targeting.

“It’s going to be a very important season on the road for me” he explained. “It’s going to take some time now to find the right pedal rhythm on the road after months of specific training for the track, but I’m ready and really looking forward to the road races.

“Normally I should start off in the GP Samyn and then ride in the Driedaagse Van West Vlaanderen. We’ll see, it depends on how I’ll be pedalling.”

Keisse’s morale is on a high after what were some very impressive performances on the track. Despite missing his favourite event, the Gent Six, due to the effects of his battle with the UCI over a positive test there in November 2008, he clocked up some good memories elsewhere.

“This season has been one of my best so far,” he stated. “I’ve won four Six-Day (Amsterdam, Grenoble, Zurich, Copenhagen) with four different partners and the European Championship with De Ketele. I’ve [also] made it to the podium three times in three different races. It’s been a fantastic season.”

Like Omega Pharma Quick Step team-mate Zdenek Stybar, Keisse combines two completely different branches of the sport. It ensures that both riders are competing throughout the year, rather than taking the same winter breaks as their team-mates do.

Stybar has said he is considering backing off on his cyclo cross racing, but Keisse believes that he can continue to give his energies to both.

“The track season isn’t very long so I think I’ll be able to combine the two specialties, road and track,” he said, before adding that the final decision would be made months from now. “I’ll think about that next winter. Now I really want to concentrate on the road and understand what I can actually give to my team.”


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