Rotterdam Six: Defending champions Stroetinga and Peter Schep hold slender lead heading into final day
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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Rotterdam Six: Defending champions Stroetinga and Peter Schep hold slender lead heading into final day

by José Been at 7:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track, Race Reports and Results
 
Rivals waiting to pounce as action reaches crescendo

Wim Stroetinga Peter SchepRotterdam can prepare for a fantastic finale of the Six-Days in the Ahoy Arena. With four pairs in the same lap and very small differences in points, the final night promises to be spectacular.

Defending champions Wim Stroetinga and Peter Schep finished the fifth night as leaders but Nick Stöpler/Yoeri Havik, Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Iljo Keisse and Niki Terpstra and Amsterdam Six winners Michael Mørkøv and Pim Ligthart are very close behind.

Despite leading the race, Stroetinga and Schep feel like they are the underdogs. “That’s how I see it,” said the former. “The people are watching Keisse/Terpstra and they love Havik/Stöpler but that’s fine by me. I like to go a bit undetected, flying under the radar.”

Stroetinga won an impossible sprint against Keisse. He and Terpstra made a final attempt to take a lap in the final five minutes of the long Madison race. They were stranded at half a lap and then couldn’t keep the lead until the finish. In the home straight Stroetinga outwitted Keisse by millimetres. “I have gone too soon on multiple occasions,” the Koga-Ubbink rider says, “so now I now exactly when to go. I didn’t think for a moment I was not going to make it.”

World madison champions Kenny de Ketele and Gijs van Hoecke are also still in competition for the overall crown. “We haven’t done any specific preparation for this event,” Van Hoecke said. “We are already working towards the road season at Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise so we lost points on the first nights. The past two days was all about getting those points and winning back some of the lost terrain.”

De Ketele/Van Hoecke are at two points from a bonus lap which brings them in the same lap as the top four. “We can’t win on points anymore,” van Hoecke explains, “so we’ll aim for the lap. We progressed every day of the week so far so we’ll go out with a bang tomorrow.”

Amsterdam Six winners Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Michael Mørkøv steadily rose to the top four of the ranking. Just like the Belgian duo they are in full preparation for the road season. “I like to do two or three Six-Days a year,” Mørkøv said. “Next up is Copenhagen and then my road season starts in Volta ao Algarve.” The Dutch-Danish pair are fourth in points but the differences are small. “We won’t win on points, I guess, because there are better sprinters here than us so we’ll have to take the lap advantage. Last October in Amsterdam we did that in the final 20 laps of the final Madison race. Hopefully we can repeat that performance.”

The sprint tournament is a battle between Great Britain’s top sprinters Jason Kenny and sir Chris Hoy. While Kenny won the individual sprint, Hoy still tops the leaderboard after five days of showcasing the sport. “To me there is no pressure here but I still want to win,” the six-times Olympic champion smiles. “I still enjoy my sport a lot. If you wouldn’t enjoy the training sessions you can’t complete them all these years. I enjoy training, I enjoy the feeling of fulfilment afterwards and I love the interaction with the team.”

Hoy wants to say goodbye to cycling at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in his native Scotland. “I won’t be around on the cycling track much longer so I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.”

Rotterdam Six Day, standings after day five:

1, Wim Stroetinga (NED) / Peter Schep (NED) 222points
2, Yoeri Havik (NED) / Nick Stöpler (NED) 216
3, Iljo Keisse (BEL) / Niki Terpstra (NED) 212
4, Michael Mørkøv (DEN) / Pim Ligthart (NED) 205
5, Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL) / Kenny De Ketele (BEL) at l lap, 198
6, Robert Bartko (GER) / Silvan Dillier (CH) at 1 lap, 153
7, Marc Hester (DEN) / Barry Markus (NED) at 8 laps, 67
8, Leif Lampater (GER) / Dylan van Baarle (NED) at 10 laps, 73
9, Melvin Boskamp (NED) / Wesley Kreder (NED) at 12 laps, 81
10, Michael Vingerling (NED) / Geert-Jan Jonkman (NEDat 15 laps, 70
11, Nolan Hoffmann (RSA) / Leon van Bon (NED) at 16 laps116
12, Tim Veldt (NED) / Bobbie Traksel (NED) at 17 laps, 140

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