Young guns seize power in Rotterdam Six
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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Young guns seize power in Rotterdam Six

by José Been at 10:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track

Yoeri Havik Nick StoplerYoeri Havik (21) and Nick Stöpler (22) lead after two nights of racing in the Rotterdam Six-Days. For Stöpler who severely crashed in last year’s edition, this was a childhood dream coming true. “This is what I dreamt of since I was a little boy,” he beamed after the final victory lap. “I am proud I have done what I promised the public after the crash last year and that was to come back here.”

Just as was the case on the opening night, there were crashes on the track in the Ahoy Arena. In the first Madison race Danish rider Marc Hester collided with Wim Stroetinga. “I might have come back down too soon and touched his wheel,” the Dutchman said. To Hester (Christina Watches) it was not a big deal. “It is crowded on the track so these things happen. I suffered some burns and my knee got hit. That’s what worries me the most. I will go to the hotel now and try again tomorrow.”

His partner Barry Markus (Vacansoleil-DCM) continued the night with Geert-Jan Jonkman. He saw his mate Michael Vingerling leave the track after one race because of injuries following a crash on the opening night. Both Hester and Vingerling aim to continue the tournament on Saturday.

For Michael Mørkøv and Pim Ligthart, the second night was about redemption. The winners of the Amsterdam Six in October didn’t get off to a spectacular start on Thursday and hunted for points on Friday. They finished in an overall fourth place after a spectacular Madison race which brought them back into contention.

The long Madison was also pivotal to the overall chances of Belgian pair Kenny de Ketele and Gijs van Hoecke. They had finished the first night in the same lap as Iljo Keisse and Niki Terpstra, Havik/Stöpler and last year’s winners Wim Stroetinga and Peter Schep, but were way behind in points. After winning the opening Madison they tried to gain a lap in the long chase. “We were at 50 to 70 metres from the bunch but couldn’t close the gap,” Gijs van Hoecke reacted. “We could hold on like that for 20 laps or so but then you just break.”

Yoeri Havik and Nick Stöpler did manage to take that all important lap. “This race was excruciating,” Stöpler said, “but it was all worth it. To be leading here after what happened last year, is a fantastic feeling.” The 22-year old Koga-Ubbink rider crashed on the third night in 2012 and sustained a very serious leg injury. “The surgeon told me rehabilitation would take at least 500 days but I pushed on and here I am. I usually tend to get better throughout the week so we’ll see how far this gets us.”

Havik and Stöpler lead by one lap on Stroetinga/Schep and Keisse/Terpstra who are both very close to the 100-points mark that will earn them a bonus lap. Mørkøv/Ligthart, De Ketele/Van Hoecke and Robert Bartko/Sylvan Dillier are also in the same lap.

The sprinters suffered from crashes too. In the keirin, the final event of their tournament, Jason Kenny crashed into Grégory Baugé’s rear wheel and they both went down. The two world sprint champions got back on their feet swiftly but the keirin was cancelled. Kenny finished the night on top of the leaderboard, ahead of compatriot Chris Hoy and Teun Mulder.

Rotterdam Six, overall standings after day two:

1, Yoeri Havik (NED) / Nick Stöpler (NED) 84 points
2, Wim Stroetinga (NED) / Peter Schep (NED) at 1 lap, 92 points
3, Iljo Keisse (BEL) / Niki Terpstra (NED) at 1 lap, 91
4, Michael Mørkøv (DEN) / Pim Ligthart (NED) at 1 lap, 89
5, Robert Bartko (GER) / Silvan Dillier (CH) at 1 lap, 66
6, Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL) / Kenny De Ketele (BEL) at 1 lap, 47
7, Raymond Kreder (NED) / Michel Kreder (NED) at 2 laps, 52
8, Leif Lampater (GER) / Dylan van Baarle (NED) at 6 laps, 29
9, Melvin Boskamp (NED) / Wesley Kreder (NED) at 7 laps, 31
10, Geert-Jan Jonkman (NED) / Barry Markus (NED) at 7 laps, 18
11, Nolan Hoffmann (RSA) / Leon van Bon (NED) at 10 laps, 57
12, Tim Veldt (NED) / Bobbie Traksel (NED) at 10 laps, 51


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