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Track Cycling: Six Days of the Flanders Preview
By Fabio
Date: 11/17/2003
Track Cycling: Six Days of the Flanders Preview

One week from the emotional end of the Munich race, track cycling stars are back in the saddle for a new 6-day event, the last one of the year on European soil: the 63rd "Six Days of the Flanders" (“Zesdaagse van Vlaanderen”), to run on November 18-23 in the Kuipke track of the Belgian town of Gent, Gand in the French language.

Twenty-six riders, thirteen different teams are expected to be on the start line on Tuesday evening, ready to battle it out. Reigning Champions as they took the title in 2002 after several failed attempts, and no doubt also red hot favourites after their recent triumphal rides in both Dortmund and Munich, are Switzerland’s Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart. The “Alpen Express” rocked in both German events in the past weeks, and will be trying to repeat the same winning performances in Belgium’s only 6-day race too.

But there’s a wild bunch of guys well-determined to topple the Swiss masters of 6-day racing. To start with Germany’s Andreas Kappes and Andreas Beikirch. They didn’t have a great result here twelve months ago, but after their recent performances on German soil, where they hit the podium in both races, why should one write them off as possible winners ?

The 2001 winners, Australian Scott McGrory, back to the “Kuipke” after he didn’t attend last year’s race, and Aussie-Belgian Matthew Gilmore will once again compete in two different teams. The former will be paired to France’s Robert Sassone, at his turn partner to Brad Wiggins in Munich, where they even held the lead for one night. The latter, finally racing on “home soil” (albeit Gilmore was born in Australia) will team up with Wiggins himself.

Britain’s recently-crowned European Derny Champion, and a little less recently crowned world individual pursuit champion too, showed a good condition even in Munich, and the fact of being paired to a talented and accomplished guy such as Gilmore would just enhance his chances of hitting the podium in the East Flanders town too. Notably if you take into consideration the fact they know how to get a top three placing in Ghent: they just did it twelve months ago by snatching second. But why not thinking big and having a shot at the top spot this year ??

The English-speaking contingent in the race can boast three more guys: another Brit, Robert Hayles, paired to Wiggins in both Amsterdam and Dortmund (although with quite poor results), and now teaming up with America’s fastman (whose strong point on the track are time-trials) Marty Nothstein, a podium finisher in Ghent in 2002. Hayles is Nothstein’s fourth mate in as many competitions, after USPS’ Max van Heeswijk in Amsterdam, Matthew Gilmore in Dortmund and Robert Bartko in Munich (who was replaced by Denmark’s Jimmi Madsen in the last night, as both his partner and Nothstein’s had pulled put of the contest). South Africa’s Jean Pierre van Zijl, a podium finisher in Grenoble but also “Lanterne Rouge” in Munich, will be competing alongside Italian veteran Marco Villa.

And Villa’s “partner in crime” in the most recent 6-day event, namely Switzerland’s Franco Marvulli (one of the four World Champions set to compete in Ghent, along with compatriot Risi, the aforementioned Wiggins plus Austria’s Points Race World Champion Franz Stocher) will find back his usual teammate Alexander Aeschbach. The duo got a stunning victory in Grenoble two weeks ago, but this performance was followed by Aeschbach’s last place in Munich, where he was Van Zijl’s partner.

Third place getter a few days ago in the opening event of the new £7.5m Wales National Velodrome in the Spytty area of Newport, South Wales, Holland’s Robert Slippens will try to take revenge on winner Wiggins, but notably repeat the great performances the man and friend Danny Stam had early in the season, when they won the Amsterdam Six and snatched fourth in Dortmund. Runner-up to Wiggins in the same European Derny Championship in Wales, Belgium’s Steven De Neef will compete in front of his home crowd this time, and with Wouter van Mechelen as teammate, as usual.

A third place finisher, along with Nothstein, in the last edition of the Ghent Six, Denmark’s Jimmi Madsen “lost” his usual partner (Michael Sandstød) instead, due to the crash Sandstød was victim of in Munich, such that he’ll be racing with Germany’s Lars Teutenberg (11th place finisher at the “Olympiahalle”) this time.

Last but not least, after dominating all three previous legs of the UIV Madison World Cup reserved for Under 23 riders, Belgians Iljo Keisse and Dimitri de Fauw thought it was time for them to measure themselves against the ”big guns”, and opted for the main competition. The young guns will compete in the two different teams anyway, each of them enjoying the help of a more experienced contender: Franz Stocher for Keisse and Germany’s Gerd Dörich for De Fauw. While Keisse took part in the “Zesdaagse van Vlaanderen” one year ago too, although not with good results (see the 2002 final GC down in the page) this is a “first time” at all for De Fauw.

Their absence from the U23 race will provide competitors in Round 4 of the UIV Cup (taking the name of 38th ”Six Days of the Future” in Ghent/Gent/Gand), riders so far overshadowed by Keisse and de Fauw’s domination, with the opportunity to grab a long-awaited win. Denmark’s Michael Smith Larsen and Michael Berling in particular will be given the chance to cut down the gap to the Belgians in the UIV Cup Overall. They’d better not waste it as long as they can, because Iljo Keisse and Dimitri De Fauw will be back as “Espoirs” in the Union Internationale des Velodromes-run Series in the next 6-day event (Bremen, Germany), in January 2004.

Below are more data and details on the “Six Days of Ghent”, from start lists to last year’s results to the complete race palmares.

63rd Six Days of The Flanders - Start List
  • Bruno Risi - Kurt Betchart (Swi)
  • Andreas Kappes - Andreas Beikirch (Ger)
  • Scott McGrory (Aus) - Robert Sassone (Fra)
  • Robert Slippens - Danny Stam (Hol)
  • Matthew Gilmore (Bel) - Bradley Wiggins (GBR)
  • Jean-Pierre Van Zijl (RSA) - Marco Villa (Ita)
  • Jimmi Madsen - Lars Teutenberg (Ger)
  • Iljo Keisse (Bel) - Franz Stocher (Aut)
  • Dimitri De Fauw (Bel) - Gerd Dörich (Ger)
  • Robert Hayles (GBR) - Marty Nothstein (USA)
  • Steven De Neef - Wouter Van Mechelen (Bel)
  • Franco Marvulli - Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)

38th Six Days of The Future - UIV Cup Round 4: Start List
  • Ralph Zimmermann - Oliver Mattmann (Swi)
  • Geert-Jan Jonkman - Kevin Sluimer (Hol)
  • Davide Tortella - Martino Marcotto (Ita)
  • Michael Smith Larsen - Michael Berling (Den)
  • Marc Hester - Michael Mørkøv (Den)
  • John Van Den Abeele - Kenney De Ketele (Bel)
  • Ingmar De Poortere - Steve Schets (Bel)
  • Davy Tuytens - Tim Mertens (Bel)
  • Lode Boes - Pieter Braekeveldt (Bel)
  • Kristof Sels - Kieran De Fauw (Bel)

U.I.V. Cup - GC after Round 3

1. Iljo Keisse - Dimitri De Fauw (Bel) - 65 points
2. Michael Smith Larsen - Michael Berling (Den) - 34 points
3. Alexei Chmidt - Konstantin Ponomarov (Rus) - 26 points
4. Ralph Zimmermann - Oliver Mattmann (Swi) - 21 points
5. Florian Piper - Andreas Welsch (Ger) - 18 points
6. Leif Lampater - Sebastian Frey (Ger) - 13 points
7. Leif Lampater - Sven Kraus (Ger) - 11 points
8. Christian Grassmann - Thomas Höss (Ger) - 8 points
9. Kenny De Ketele (Bel) - Tim V. D. Zanden (Hol) - 7 points
10. Gideon De Jong - Geert-Jan Jonkman (Hol) - 5 points
11. Marc Hester - Michael Mørkøv (Den) - 5 points
12. Florian Piper - Leonardo Pappalardo (Ger) - 3 points
13. Aurel Siegel - Felix Wolf (Ger) - 3 points
14. Ingmar De Portere - Steve Schets (Bel) - 2 points
15. Sebastian Ortkras - Marcel Rothstein (Ger) - 2 points
16. Christian Herde - Markus Reich (Ger) - 2 points
17. Sascha Richter - Nicolai Raasch (Ger) - 2 points
18. Sebastian Debatin - Stephan Kirschner (Ger) - 1 point
19. Roberto Longo - Martino Marcotto (Ita) - 1 point
20. Niels Pieters - Wim Stroetinga (Hol) - 1 point
21. Patrick Kos - Kevin Sluimer (Hol) - 1 point
22. David Gisiger - Michael Müller (Swi) - 1 point
23. Alexander Peter - Hanjo Veit (Ger) - 1 point
24. Mattia Thiene - Andrea Bini (Ita) - 1 point

62nd Six Days of The Flanders - 2002: Final Results

1. Bruno Risi - Kurt Betschart (SWI) - 387 points
2. Matthew Gilmore (BEL) - Bradley Wiggins (GBR) - 384 points

at 1 lap
3. Jimmi Madsen (DEN) - Marty Nothstein (USA) - 431 points
4. Silvio Martinello - Marco Villa (ITA) - 250 points

at 2 laps
5. Robert Slippens (HOL) - Danny Stam (HOL) - 297 points
6. Andreas Kappes - Andreas Beikirch (GER) - 217 points

at 9 laps
7. Alexander Aeschbach - Franco Marvulli (SWI) - 252 points

at 10 laps
8. Steven De Neef (BEL) - Gerd Dörich (GER) - 101 points

at 15 laps
9. Lorenzo Lapage (BEL) - Adriano Baffi (ITA) - 122 points

at 27 laps
10. Jimmy Hansen (DEN) - Matthé Pronk (HOL) - 116 points

at 29 laps
11. Martin Liska - Jozef Zabka (SVK) - 71 points

at 39 laps
12. Wouter Van Mechelen (BEL) - Franz Stocher (AUT) - 136 points

at 40 laps
13. Iljo Keisse (BEL) - Jean-Pierre Van Zyl (RSA) - 229 points

63rd Six Days of the Flanders
Night 1 (Tuesday, Nov. 18) Schedule (All Times CET)

19h00: 38th "Toekomst Zes-Daagse" (Six Days of the Future)
20h00: 63rd "Zes-Daagse Vlaanderen-Gent": Team Presentation
20h25: Starting short; Points Race (60 laps)
20h45: Madison #1 (40’ + 10 laps)
21h30: Pause; Show
21h45: Team Elimination
22h05: Flying Lap Time Trial
22h25: Derny: Heat 1
22h45: Elimination Race
23h00: Derny:Heat 2
23h20: 500m.Time Trial (Flying Start)
23h45: Midnight Sprint: 7-lap Elimination Race + 10-laps Sprints Race
00h00: Madison #2 (30’)
00h30: Pause - Six Day Leaders Ceremony
00h45: Supersprint: 20 laps (non-Derny competitors)
00h55: Derny: Finale (Top 3 riders in each of the previous heats)
01h15: Session End

Six Days of The Flanders - Winners List

1922: Marcel Buysse - Oscar Egg (Bel - Swi)
1923: Lucien Buysse - Victor Standaert (Bel)
1924: Alois Persijn - Jules Verschelden (Bel)
1925: César Debaets - Jules Van Hevel (Bel)
1926: César Debaets - Emile Thollembeek (Bel)
1927: Maurice Dewolf - Hilaire Hellebaut (Bel)
1936: Camile De Kuysscher - Albert Billiet (Bel)
1937: Frans Slaats - Cees Pellenaars (Hol)
1947: Gerrit Schulte - Gerrit Boeyen (Hol)
1948: Achiel Bruneel - Camile De Kuysscher (Bel)
1949: Gerrit Schulte - Gerrit Boeyen (Hol)
1950: Gerrit Schulte - Gerrit Peters (Hol)
1951: René Adriaensens - Albert Bruylandt (Bel)
1952: Walter Bücher - Armin Von Büren (Swi)
1953: Achiel Bruneel - Arsène Rijckaert (Bel)
1954: Rik Van Steenbergen - Stan Ockers (Bel)
1955: Lucien Gillen - Fernando Terruzzi (Lux - Ita)
1956: Reginald Arnold - Fernando Terruzzi (Aus - Ita)
1957: Rik Van Steenbergen - Fred De Bruyne (Bel)
1958: Reginald Arnold - Rik Van Looy (Aus - Bel)
1959: Rik Van Steenbergen - Fred De Bruyne (Bel)
1960: Rik Van Looy - Peter Post (Bel - Hol)
1961: Rik Van Looy - Peter Post (Bel - Hol)
1965: Patrick Sercu - Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1966: Peter Post - Fritz Pfenninger (Hol - Swi)
1967: Patrick Sercu - Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1968: Peter Post - Leo Duyndam (Hol)
1969: Rudi Altig - Sigi Renz (Ger)
1970: Patrick Sercu - Jean-Pierre Monseré (Bel)
1971: Patrick Sercu - Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)
1972: Patrick Sercu - Julien Stevens (Bel)
1973: Patrick Sercu - Graeme Gilmore (Bel - Aus)
1974: Graeme Gilmore - Julien Stevens (Aus - Bel)
1975: Patrick Sercu - Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1976: Danny Clark - Donald Allan (Aus)
1977: Patrick Sercu - Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1978: Patrick Sercu - Gerry Knetemann (Bel - Hol)
1979: Danny Clark - Donald Allan (Aus)
1980: Patrick Sercu - Albert Fritz (Bel - Ger)
1981: Patrick Sercu - Gert Frank (Bel - Den)
1982: Danny Clark - Donald Allan (Aus)
1983: René Pijnen - Etienne De Wilde (Hol - Bel)
1984: Gert Frank - Hans Henrik Oërsted (Den)
1985: Stan Tourné - Etienne De Wilde (Bel)
1986: Danny Clark - Anthony Doyle (Aus - GBR)
1987: Danny Clark - Etienne De Wilde (Aus - Bel)
1988: Urs Freuler - Roman Hermann (Swi - Lie)
1989: Etienne De Wilde - Stan Tourné (Bel)
1990: Danny Clark - Roland Günther (Aus - Ger)
1991: Etienne De Wilde - Tony Doyle (Bel - GBR)
1992: Etienne De Wilde - Jens Veggerby (Bel - Den)
1993: Bruno Risi - Kurt Betschart (Swi)
1994: Danny Clark - Etienne De Wilde (Aus - Bel)
1995: Etienne De Wilde - Andreas Kappes (Bel - Ger)
1996: Bruno Risi - Kurt Betschart (Swi)
1997: Etienne De Wilde - Matthew Gilmore (Bel - Aus)
1998: Silvio Martinello - Marco Villa (Ita)
1999: Jimmi Madsen - Scott McGrory (Den - Aus)
2000: Matthew Gilmore - Silvio Martinello (Bel - Ita)
2001: Matthew Gilmore - Scott McGrory (Bel - Aus)
2002: Bruno Risi - Kurt Betschart (Swi)

Track Cycling on the “Daily Peloton” - 2003/2004 Season:

* 2003-2004 Season Calendar (Next 6-Day Event: Gand, Belgium - November 18-23)

Memorial Noel Foré (Belgium - Nov. 11, 2003)
* Results and Report

Six Days of Munich (Germany - Nov. 06-11, 2003)
* Race Preview
* Day 1 - Results and Report
* Day 2 - Results and Report
* Day 3 - Results and Report
* Day 4 - Results and Report
* Day 5 - Results and Report
* Day 6 - Final Results

Six Days of Dortmund (Germany - Oct. 30-Nov. 04, 2003)
* Race Preview
* Day 1 - Results and Report
* Day 2 - Results and Report
* Day 3 - Results and Report
* Day 4 - Results and Report
* Day 5 - Results and Report
* Day 6 - Final Results

Six Days of Grenoble (France - Oct. 30-Nov. 04, 2003)
* Race Preview
* Day 1 Results
* Day 2 - Results and Report
* Day 3 - Results and Report
* Day 4 - Results and Report
* Day 5 - Results and Report
* Day 6 - Final Results

Six Days of Amsterdam (Holland - Oct. 20-25, 2003)
* Day 1 - Results and Report
* Day 2 - Results and Report
* Day 3 - Results and Report
* Day 4 - Results and Report
* Day 5 - Results and Report
* Day 6 - Final Results

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