Schep and Stroetinga grab early lead in Rotterdam Six
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Friday, January 4, 2013

Schep and Stroetinga grab early lead in Rotterdam Six

by José Been at 8:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
Last year’s winners on top after tight battle

Wim Stroetinga Peter SchepPeter Schep and Wim Stroetinga top the leaderboard after one night of eventful racing at the Rotterdam Six. The 2012 winners are in the same lap as three other pairs but gathered a total of 60 points on the seven events of the 31st Rotterdam Six-Days. Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Iljo Keisse and Niki Terpstra are not far behind the leaders. The young Dutch riders Yoeri Havik and Nick Stöpler plus the Belgian duo Kenny de Ketele and Gijs van Hoecke have considerably less points than the top two.

Schep/Stroetinga, teammates at the continental team Koga-Ubbink, made a difference by winning points on all events. “That is our forte,” Stroetinga said after the final prize ceremony. “I am a sprinter and can win in the madison races, Peter is the endurance guy and takes the points in the elimination race, for example.” However, the Dutch pair lost points too in the time trial where Stroetinga crashed. “I clipped Peter's wheel because I was too close. It was bound to happen once on the track because you are riding closely together.” Apart from some burns from the timber, Stroetinga was fit to ride again.

The 27-year old, a former junior world champion on the scratch, showed his fast legs in the long madison race. The showpiece of the evening over 45 minutes and ten laps is always pivotal to the overall ranking. Stroetinga/Schep came out victorious when the former Milram rider beat Iljo Keisse and Yoeri Havik in the final sprint. Three other pairs finished in the same lap - Keisse/Terpstra, Yoeri Havik and Nick Stöpler and the 2012 world madison champions Kenny de Ketele and Gijs van Hoecke - but with 60 points Stroetinga/Schep lead after the first day.

“Our preparation was good,” Schep said. “We did the same as we did last year when we won in Rotterdam. I trained in South Africa and made long hours on the bike. The national championships at the end of December were not going smoothly so we can take revenge here.”

According to Schep there are six to seven pairs who can win the overall crown in Rotterdam. “There are some great road racers here too like Keisse and Terpstra and the Kreders (Raymond and Michel) who deservedly won the national madison title. I think it's nice for the public to see the road racers here too but I'd like to stay ahead of them,” the 35-year old former world champion points race added with a smile.

The first night saw several crashes on the timber. Michel Kreder, the eldest of the Garmin-Sharp brothers, crashed in the first madison race. “There was some confusion at the take-over from two pairs. They steered to the top of the track but unexpectedly came back down again. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place and clipped Michael Vingerling's rear wheel.” Kreder suffered some burns and a sore back. Vingerling fell on his knee but both riders could continue with the other events of the evening.

Next to the world's Six-Day racing elite, Rotterdam contracted the sprint elite too. With Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Teun Mulder and Grégory Baugé the crowds are in for a treat. The four sprinters have a combined total of 21 world titles and nine gold Olympic medals.

“It's so very different to what we normally do,” Hoy explained. “The Six-Days is about fun, about entertainment and not about winning medals and being very serious. The atmosphere here is great, it's all very relaxed.” The Scottish sprinter won the keirin and the team sprint with Jason Kenny but because Kenny won the time trial and the individual sprint he leads after day one of the sprint tournament in Rotterdam.

Rotterdam Six - standings after day one:

1, Wim Stroetinga (NED) / Peter Schep (NED) 60 points
2, Iljo Keisse (BEL) / Niki Terpstra (NED) 49 points
3, Yoeri Havik (NED) / Nick Stöpler (NED) 45 points
4, Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL) / Kenny De Ketele (BEL) 16 points
5, Raymond Kreder (NED) / Michel Kreder (NED) at 1 lap, 33 points
6, Michael Mørkøv (DEN) / Pim Ligthart (NED) at 1 lap, 32 points
7, Robert Bartko (GER) / Silvan Dillier (CH) at 1 lap, 31 points
8, Marc Hester (DEN) / Barry Markus (NED) at 2 laps, 22 points
9, Leif Lampater (GER) / Dylan van Baarle (NED) at 3 laps, 7 points
10, Melvin Boskamp (NED) / Wesley Kreder (NED) at 5 laps, 11 points
11, Nolan Hoffmann (RSA) / Leon van Bon (NED) at 6 laps, 26 points
12, Tim Veldt (NED) / Bobbie Traksel (NED) at 6 laps, 24 points
13, Michael Vingerling (NED) / Geert-Jan Jonkman (NED) at 6 laps, 4 points


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