Keisse back on top in Gent
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Friday, November 27, 2009

Keisse back on top in Gent

by Bjorn Haake at 4:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track

Belgian Iljo Keisse and his German partner Roger Kluge took over the lead in the Gent Six Days at the half-way mark. They have a 22-point lead over Swiss team Bruno Risi/Franco Marvulli and are up by one lap over Alex Rasmussen/Michael Morkov and Kenny de Ketele/Robert Bartko.

Keisse won the Gent Six Days last year with Bartko, but tested positive for an illegal substance. After a year-long battle, in which he was still able to compete in some races, it was ruled that a food supplement caused the positive. Keisse is now back on top in his own town.

In his facebook entry, Keisse was jubilant. "Great, Fantastic, formidable! I can't describe my feelings in words when Het Kuipke yelled my name. I am going to bed very happy!"

Stemming from Gent, he enjoys racing in Het Kuipke. That's the name of the velodrome in Citadelpark that - since a new, modern track has been made available - opens only once a year for the famous Six Days.

The short 266m laps require steep turns, almost horizontal. The fans sit close, technically able to touch the riders when they ride up to the top. The cheering fans, the smell of beer and sausage - the atmosphere here is unforgettable.

Keisse now gets to enjoy it again and if he can hold on for three more days he will have won 'his' Six Days for the fourth time, after 2005, 2007 and 2008.

One who was enjoying the atmosphere less last night was Peter Schep. He was in sixth place with partner Jeff Vermeulen, when Schep suddenly started to feel unwell, according to De Telegraaf. Schep was brought to hospital, but initial tests indicate it is nothing serious.


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