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Belgian star looks to complete handful of wins on home track.

Photo: Tim de Waele






19.11.2013 @ 12:29 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Alongside the Six Days race in Berlin, the “z6daagse Vlaanderen-Gent” is widely regarded as one of the most coveted prizes on the Six Days circuit. Tonight the action kicks off on the intimate 160 meter track in the Kuipke.


Race organiser Patrick Sercu has assembled an interesting field with several teams who can justifiably aim for the podium. French world Madison champions Kneisky/Brisse lead the pack, while their Belgian predecessors De Ketele/Van Hoecke take to the start aiming to repeat their win in Amsterdam last month.


A lot will be expected from home crowd favourite Iljo Keisse who teams up with fast Dutchman Wim Stroetinga.


Keisse pointed to the short and technically demanding track as a possibly deciding factor.


"Remember that the track is only 166 meters long in the Kuipke,” Keisse told Het Nieuwsblad. “You cannot compare the Six Days of Ghent with any other Six Days races. The track is not only highly technical, the audience is demanding and wants the riders to provide them with a spectacle every night.”


Keisse also spoke about possible rivals for overall victory in his quest for his fifth win on home ground.


“I expect a lot of challengers,” Keisse explained.  “Obviously Kenny De Ketele and Gijs Van Hoecke will be looking to put in a good performance in front of a Belgian crowd and their win in Amsterdam despite Van Hoecke’s shoulder injury towards the end of the race just proves how physically strong and tactically brilliant they are. The French world champions will also be dangerous and it will be interesting to see what Jasper Buyst can do alongside the experienced German Leif Lampater,” Keisse added.


German veteran Robert Bartko partners with compatriot Marcel Kalz, while experienced Franco Marvulli from Switzerland and Aussie rider Luke Roberts will also be looking for a place on the podium.


Irishman Martyn Irvine makes his debut as a Six Days rider. Earlier this year he took the silver medal in the individual pursuit at the world track championship, and half an hour later he claimed gold in the scratch race! He joins experienced Dane Marc Hester in Gent.


The 13 teams:
  1 Morgan Kneisky – Vivien Brisse (FRA)
  2 Iljo Keisse (BEL) – Wim Stroetinga (NED)
  3 Martyn Irvine (IRL) – Marc Hester (DEN)
  4 Kenny de Ketele – Gijs van Hoecke (BEL)
  5 Franco Marvulli (SUI) – Luke Roberts (AUS)
  6 David Muntaner – Albert Torres (ESP)
  7 Jasper de Buyst (BEL) – Leif Lampater (GER)
  8 Nick Stöpler – Yoeri Havik (NED)
  9 Robert Bartko (GER) – Marcel Kalz (GER)
10 Christian Grasmann (GER) – Andreas Graf (AUT)
11 Moreno de Pauw – Nicky Cocquyt (BEL)
12 Silvan Dillier – Tristan Marguet (SUI)
13 Jesper Mørkøv (DEN) – Claudio Imhof (SUI)




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