Iljo Keisse and Niki Terpstra chasing victory in Rotterdam Six Days
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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Iljo Keisse and Niki Terpstra chasing victory in Rotterdam Six Days

by Ben Atkins at 3:54 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
 
Omega Pharma-Quick Step duo hoping to improve on last year’s fourth place

iljo keisseThe Omega Pharma-Quick Step duo of Iljo Keisse and Niki Terpstra will start the Six Days of Rotterdam tomorrow night for the second year in succession, and hope to improve on last year’s fourth place. Belgian track star Keisse has won the event twice in the past, in 2007 and 2010 - with Robert Bartko and Danny Stam respectively - but Dutchman Terpstra will be looking for his first Rotterdam victory.

“I'm really happy to race with Iljo,” said Terpstra. “This is our 4th six-days together. We rode twice in Amsterdam, we won one time. We also rode once together already in Rotterdam. We were 4th last year and now we really would like to improve this result. I'm in good condition and I'm looking forward to this race.”

niki terpstraSo far this winter, Keisse has taken major track victories; winning his home event in Gent, Belgium, followed by the four-day event in Grenoble, France. Ordinarily, he would continue until the end of the Six-Day season - last year he also rode Bremen and Berlin, Germany (winning in Berlin), and Copenhagen, Denmark - but this year will be different as he continues to make the transition from track star to road racer.

“I won this race two times in the past,” Keisse explained. “This race will be the only 6-days I will do until next winter. Normally in the past January was a quite hot period with a lot of 6-days, but this year I will participate only in Rotterdam to focus the attention then on the road.

“I know that Niki is super motivated,” he added. “I will give my best to try to get this race.”

Both Keisse and Terpstra enjoyed one of their best seasons in 2012; although Keisse only took one victory, it was one of the most spectacular finishes of the season as he remounted after a final kilometre crash to just hold off the sprinters. Terpstra was able to reclaim the Netherlands title, but arguably his biggest victory came in the Dwars door Vlaanderen in March. The Dutchman also took fifth in Paris-Roubaix, having played a big part in the initiation of teammate Tom Boonen's winning break, and was a member of the victorious Omega Pharma-Quick Step World team time trial squad.

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