De Ketele: "Keisse and I wanted to erase Beijing"
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Friday, December 11, 2009

De Ketele: "Keisse and I wanted to erase Beijing"

by Ben Atkins at 11:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
Belgian track cyclist Kenny De Ketele has voiced his disappointment at the confirmation of the changed Olympic track programme. De Ketele and racing partner Iljo Keisse were fourth in the Madison at the Olympic Games in Beijing last year, agonisingly just outside the medals, and both planned to finish at least one place higher next time.

The track programme has been revised in order to give women an equal number of events to men. The Madison has been removed, along with the individual pursuit and points race for men and women (the Madison was on the men’s programme only) to be replaced by the omnium.

"London 2012 is a missed opportunity," said De Ketele in an interview with Le Soir.

He had been looking forward to the next Olympic Games in London: "This is particularly unfortunate, because Iljo Keisse and I wanted to obliterate the disappointment of our fourth place at the Beijing Games in London.

"Since Beijing we have lived for London, but now we won’t get the chance to put things right."

Despite also being road rider for the Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator team, De Ketele is primarily a track racer, specialising in the six-day races of the winter. The Madison is a key part of that racing, but without an Olympic status he is worried that interest may wane. "I fear for the future of the six-days," he said. "This is a heavy blow to that world. At the six-days, the financial terms are particularly important to us."

With Keisse recently signing for the Quick Step team, the pair of them may now switch their focus to other areas. "Fortunately we also get opportunities on the road with our teams, we can also show ourselves there."

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