Rasmussen/Mørkøv the surprise Gent Six Days winners
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rasmussen/Mørkøv the surprise Gent Six Days winners

by Bjorn Haake at 1:14 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
 

The Danish duo of Alex Rasmussen and Michael Mørkøv are the surprise winners of the Gent Six Day race. The Danish duo beat the favored Iljo Keisse/Roger Kluge in an exciting final sprint, taking the overall by a mere three points.

Previous leaders Bruno Risi and Franco Marvulli were pushed back into third place, despite being a lap up on the others. The Swiss pair used their experience to gain back a lap in the final Madison. But both Keisse/Kluge and Alex Rasmussen/Michael Mørkøv eventually managed to escape, making them equal on laps again. The final sprint in the final race had to decide the Six Days.

Keisse/Kluge had a one point lead. Kluge surprised Mørkøv with an attack four laps from the finish, but when the switch was made over to their partners, Rasmussen held off local hero Keisse to the disappointment of the spectators. That capped a close and exciting Gent Six Days, with four teams equal on laps (Danny Stam and Leif Lampater finished fourth) and one team (Peter Schep and Danny de Ketele) just one lap behind.

The organizers, Rob Discart and Patrick Sercu, were happy, too. With 41,000 spectators over the week, the number of spectators were roughly the same. And although there was some need for shuffling teams (Robert Bartko had to abandon due to ongoing problems from his Munich Six Days crash and Peter Schep spent one evening in the hospital) the sportive value was high.

The spectators also showed their fair play side when they celebrated Bruno Risi for minutes with standing ovations during the final day. Risi will hang up his wheels at the end of the Six Day circuit at the end of the winter. Risi has been participating in the Gent Six Days since 1991.

Sercu was also happy how Iljo Keisse rode. On the organizer's website, Sercu noted that Rasmussen and Mørkøv mainly rode with the overall in mind. "That is the big difference to Keisse, who wants to show himself in almost all competitions. It's logical, of course, when you see how the crowd reacts when he gets out of the saddle. Gent is the only Six Days, where there is so much support for the riders."

Keisse won the Six Days last year with Bartko, but was later caught for taking banned substances. After a very long legal proceeding, he was only cleared to race in Gent shortly before the Six Days.

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