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Track Cycling News & Racing Round-up, Monday, November 29, 2010

Date published:
November 29, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • IOC visits completed London velodrome

    The London 2012 velodrome
    Article published:
    November 18, 2010, 22:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    250m wood track surface in place, finishing touches await

    The venue for the 2012 London Olympic Games track cycling events is nearly complete, and was visited today by representatives from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who were impressed with the progress.

    IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald viewed the newly completed 250m track, surfaced with Siberian pine timbers. The velodrome is on target to be the first Olympic Park venue to be completed, and only awaits installation of its 6,000 seats, completion of the external timber cladding, infield and changing room areas.

    Following the Games, a road circuit and mountain bike course will be added to the venue, which together with the velodrome and BMX circuit will make up the Lee Valley VeloPark.

    "Every visit to the Olympic Park provides us with yet another impressive sign of the progress that is being made here and today's visit is no exception," said Oswald. "As an amateur cyclist, it's fantastic to see the finished track in London's new velodrome."

    London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, looked beyond the Games to how the facility will impact the community. "Providing a lasting legacy is our overriding vision for the London Games and the velodrome will be an essential part of that. With the cycling revolution currently gripping the capital, I hope this new flagship facility will encourage many more to watch or take up this exciting sport helping to make London the best cycling city in the world."

    Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority which will own and operate the velodrome, said the facility will be an "inspirational venue". "We are working closely with British Cycling, the host boroughs and other agencies to develop legacy plans that provide opportunities from introductory sessions through to elite training and create an all year round vibrant and sustainable cycling venue."

    The velodrome is also expected to be quick enough to facilitate new records in the 10 events which...

  • Van der Sande making Six-Day debut at 19

    Tosh Van der Sande
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 9:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Hopes to combine track and road in the future

    Tosh van der Sande is making his six-day race debut this week in Gent, and the Belgian admits it is heavy going. The former junior world champion is also trying to figure out how to juggle a road and track career.

    The six-day race is quite hard, “but I won't give up and will stick with my plan,” he told Sporza. “It is very difficult. The level is so high that every day I have to fight to hold on.

    Van der Sande, who will turn 20 on November 28, said that he didn't really think he was too young for the race. “I don't think so. I'm not giving up. I get the occasional lap and don't want to let go.”

    "I am satisfied with my first days. On Sunday I will be content if I'm not absolutely empty.”

    After the third day, he and partner Andreas Müller were in twelfth place.

    The young Belgian hopes that he won't have to decide between the track and the road in the future. “My dream is to become a professional. That's my biggest goal. But the track and the road can go together.”

    Van der Sande's major successes have been on the track. In 2008 he won the world title in the Juniors points race, and he has multiple national titles.

    On the road, he won a stage of the Tour de Namur in 2009, as well as the Rijkvorsel. This year he finished 10th in the U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege. He rides for the Wielergroop Beveren 2000.

  • Six Day riders upset with doping controllers

    Iljo Keisse (John Saey - Mega Deschacht)
    Article published:
    November 27, 2010, 12:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Keisse rejects the idea of controls during the event

    Doping controllers caused a commotion at the Gent Six-Day race by showing up early. The riders thought they would be tested during the race itself, which is “impossible”, according to Iljo Keisse.

    The team of doping inspectors arrived at nine p.m, when the events were in full swing, and had to wait several hours until the races were finished.

    Between the events it was impossible,” Keisse said to “In the best case it takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete a doping control. That is impossible in a Six Day. After five minutes you have to be back on the track.”

    "A doping control during a race simply cannot be fair,” he continued. “It's not possible during a road race either. Although you might set up a tent at the feed zone.”

    He gave his sample after the racing was finished for the day, which doctor Hans Cooman, who led the testing for the Flanders Community, said was just fine.

    He denied that testing would have to be made during the race. “That is false,” he told Belga. During the race, “the riders are simply informed by me and my staff of the anti-doping controls. Those who can, may give their samples at that time. Otherwise they can choose to do so after the racing. The riders are free to choose.”

    Keisse would be particularly sensitive to doping controls at this race. In 2008, after he won the event, he tested positive for cathine and HCT. The charges were ultimately dismissed earlier this month, allowing him to ride again.

  • Keisse looks for revenge at Ghent Six Day

    Iljo Keisse (John Saey - Mega Deschacht)
    Article published:
    November 28, 2010, 11:16 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Belgian fighting back after doping ban

    Winning the Ghent Six would be the greatest way of getting revenge for Iljo Keisse. The Belgian won the race two years ago, but subsequently tested positive for two doping products. He has fought a legal battle ever since but his suspension was confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. however that decision was overturned by Belgian Court of Appeals in early November.

    Keisse and partner Peter Schep are leading going in to Sunday night's finale after a strong performance on Saturday evening. Keisse said that he was gaining confidence every day. “I feel better every day and now the final on Sunday is in my mind,” he told

    However he knows that taking the overall win won't be easy. “ It is extremely hard because so many teams are well matched. The teams are really very tough. Luckily my teammate Peter Schep is very good," said Keisse.

    He noted particularly that the German duo Robert Bartko and Danilo Hondo is “also very strong, but I don't worry about them. We have a good score.”

    Keisse only learned about two weeks ago that he would be allowed to ride in Ghent, and dedicated his time since then to getting ready for this race. “I have sacrificed everything for the last few weeks. My son was born three weeks ago, but I have held in my arms perhaps only two hours,” he said.

    "But I am now enjoying the rewards for all those sacrifices. We are delighted,” he said. “When the audience chanted my name, it was a magical moment. If I win, it would be the best revenge,” he concluded.

  • Mørkøv complains of public doping control at the Ghent Six Day

    Morkov and Rasmussen take the cheers
    Article published:
    November 28, 2010, 11:47 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Dane felt himself forced to give sample during the event

    When Belgian doping controllers showed up at  the Ghent Six Day race, it was not clear if the riders had to give urine samples during the race or wait until the end of the evening. Denmark's Michael Mørkøv was one of them, and ended up giving a urine sample “in front of 6000 people” and was not happy about it.

    On Friday, “I had a very special evening,” Mørkøv said on “The doping controllers showed up just as the evening's first race started. They wanted the urine sample at the first possible time, which therefore meant it wasn't possible to pee before the race.”

    "I had to hold it in until the evening's first 10 minute break, and then there wasn't enough time to go out of the track and find a separate toilet. I was forced to provide the urine sample in the little cabin in the track centre. It was the first time I've done a doping control in front of 6000 people.” Fortunately for Mørkøv there was a curtain covering the front of the cabin.

    Dr. Hans Cooman, who conducted the controls for the Flemish Community, defended the testing, saying he told the riders that it was up to them whether they submitted their samples during or after the event.

  • Keisse with emotional Gent Six-Day win

    Iljo Keisse looks at the scoreboard midway through the Madison.
    Article published:
    November 29, 2010, 10:01 GMT
    Cycling News

    Much pressure and a hard race

    Iljo Keisse was overcome with emotion after winning his fourth Gent Six Day race on Sunday. He had only a few weeks to prepare for the race after learning that his doping-related suspension had been lifted.

    Keisse tested positive for Cathine and HCT after winning the race in 2008. The Belgian federation dismissed the charges, but the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) gave him a two-year suspension. A little more than two weeks ago the Belgian Court of Appeals set the ban aside, with a final decision due in April.

    “I had very poor preparations for this six-day race,” Keisse told the Belga news agency. “When the news came that my suspension was lifted, there was enormous pressure on my shoulders, as I prepared for 'my' six-days. In addition, I was also sick, but fortunately I improved after the first day.”

    Keisse and his Dutch partner Peter Schep took back the lead on the fifth night, and held off challengers Kenny De Ketele and Leif Lampater on Sunday to take the overall victory.

    “On Sunday Peter Schep and I made sure that no one could get a lap on us. And we succeeded in that. Maybe it wasn't a pleasant finale, but we made sure we would get the final victory.”

    After taking that final victory, Keisse said, “I fought really hard here. Having thousands of people chanting my name gives me an incredible feeling. That makes it worth doing.”

    The 27-year-old had previously won the Gent Six-Day race in 2005, 2007 and 2008.

  • More criticism for Gent Six-Day doping controllers

    The Ghent track before the action begins
    Article published:
    November 29, 2010, 11:48 GMT
    Cycling News

    Flemish Community anti-doping control may have consequences

    The anti-doping controls performed by the Flemish Community at this weekend's Gent Six-Day have sparked further criticism by the organisers. Six-Day track rider Michael Mørkøv was the first to denounce the controllers' work, as they asked for urine samples to be provided during the race and in unusual conditions. Race organiser Rob Discart has now spoken of "disconcerting, fundamental mistakes" and "pure intimidation".

    Mørkøv found himself forced to provide his urine sample "in front of 6000 people" in a small cabin in the track centre, shielded only by a small curtain. Belgian Sportwereld reported that the chaperons waited in front of Iljo Keisse's cabin at the side of the track for several hours, wearing fluorescent "doping control" vests, when in fact the Gent velodrome offers closed anti-doping premises in the catacombs of the track.

    The insistance with which anti-doping controllers proceded left many observers baffled. The Gent Commissioner for Sports, Christophe Peeters, even told Sportwereld, "It was as if they were rolling up an Al Quaida cell. I will definitely talk about it with the Flemish minister of sports Philippe Muyters."

    Race organsier Discart meanwhile explained that he knew of the control before the event, and had told Dr. Hans Cooman, who conducted the controls for the Flemish Community, that it would be difficult to realise the sample taking during the event.

    "Doctor Cooman said that he did not understand," Discart said. "Even if we told him beforehand that his comparison with a team training camp didn't add up. During a Sixday, there are no long pauses between the events. The international jury chairman confirmed this to him. Controls: of course. But not only the riders and the organisers have to respect the rules. This showing was simply below all levels."

    Belgian cycling federation chairman Tom Van Damme, who also witnessed the controls, and the...

  • Perkins eager to race in Melbourne Track World Cup

    Shane Perkins (Australia) with his gold medal for the men's sprint.
    Article published:
    November 29, 2010, 18:22 GMT
    Cycling News

    Personal reasons to ride now, but illness may force him out

    Australian Shane Perkins is eager to ride in the Track World Cup meet this week in Melbourne for a variety of reasons. The Commonwealth Games champion is eager to go up against the top British stars, such as Sir Chris Hoy, who missed the Games, and wants to show off in front of his home-town crowd. But his main reason is an event planned for the end of February, and the whole thing is made more complicated by a mystery illness he came down with a few weeks ago.

    Actually there are two events on Perkins' agenda for that time period. One is the Manchester World Cup from February 18 to 20, in England. The other is the expected birth of his second child on February 25. There is no question as to which he would prefer to attend.

    Under a new system, track riders build up qualifying points for the Olympic games through their results in World Cup events. If he is unable to ride in Melbourne due to his illness, he will have to ride in England to get the much-needed points.

    "There is an interesting dilemma there because my wife is due with our second baby on about the 25th of February and if I miss out on Melbourne World Cup I have to potentially go to Manchester World Cup which is on the 18th to 20th of February," Perkins said. "So there is quite a lot of motivation to try and get right for this World Cup."

    The 23-year-old won the gold medal in the sprint at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi this fall. Last week, however, he had to withdraw from the finals of the sprint at the Oceania championships after coach Sean Eadie found him "looking pretty pale, getting a bit shaky and sort of staring off into nothing," after qualifying.

    He will consult with doctors and coaches this week before deciding whether to ride.

    Perkins got on his bike Monday again for the first time, but still is not well, saying he is that he is still feeling tired. "It's a little bit worrying but I think it a combination of maybe a bit of gastro over...