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Track Cycling News & Racing Round-up, Thursday, January 6, 2011

Date published:
January 06, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Dutch road stars roll up for Rotterdam Six-day

    Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank).
    Article published:
    December 15, 2010, 17:17 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Retiree Moerenhout to be honoured at event

    Whilst speculation surrounds defending Rotterdam Six Day champion Iljo Keisse's participation at the Dutch event, organisers have confirmed a start list that includes a host of road professionals.

    Dutch road race champion Nicki Terpstra, who will join Keisse at Quick Step next year, is one of a number of local stars scheduled will take to the boards of the Sportpaleis van Ahoy on January 6. Theo Bos will mark his return to Rabobank colours at the event, with Michael Kreder (Rabobank) and Kenny Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano) to also take part.

    Denmark's Michael Mørkøv (Saxo Bank) will be partnered at the race by compatriot Jens-Erik Madsen. Mørkøv's regular track partner, Alex Rasmussen, will skip the event due to commitments with his new road squad, HTC-High Road.

    Regular Rotterdam Six-day participant Bobbie Traksel is another whose obligation to his new squad, Team Pegasus, will take precedence over the event. The Australian team confirmed to Cyclingnews on Wednesday that it had secured financial backing that should ensure its place in the peloton.

    Pairings for the 2011 Rabobank Rotterdam Six-day
    Danny Stam (Ned) - Leon van Bon (Ned)
    Franco Marvulli (Swi) - Niki Terpstra (Ned)
    Michael Mørkøv (Den) - Jens-Erik Madsen (Den)
    Danny Schep (Ned) - Theo Bos (Ned)
    Robert Bartko (Ger) - Michael Kreder (Ned)
    Jens Mouris (Ned) - Pim Ligthart (Ned)
    Iljo Keisse (Bel) - Kenny De Ketele (Bel)
    Raymond Kreder (Ned) - Nick Stöpler (Ned)
    Leif Lampater (Ger) - Wim Stroetinga (Ned)
    Jeff Vermeulen (Ned) - Yoeri Havik (Ned)
    Mattias Pronk (Ned) - Tim Mertens (Bel)
    Marc Hester (Den) - Geert-Jan Jonkman (Ned)
    Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) - Andreas Müller (Ger)

    Moerenhout to bow out at home

    Organisers have also confirmed that retiring Rabobank rider Koos Moerenhout will close his career at the event...

  • WADA supports UCI in Keisse decision

    Iljo Keisse (John Saey - Mega Deschacht)
    Article published:
    December 15, 2010, 18:02 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Rotterdam Six Day invites Belgian despite continued legal questions

    The Six Days of Rotterdam has provisionally invited Iljo Keisse to ride. The Belgian is currently in a dispute with the International Cycling Union (UCI) as to whether he can ride outside of Belgium, with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) now weighing in on the side of the UCI.

    Keisse tested positive for two forbidden substances at the Gent Six Day race in 2008. The national federation dismissed the charges but the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) imposed a two-year ban. Last month the Belgian court of appeal allowed him to ride again, pending a final decision next spring.

    After winning the Gent Six Day race, Keisse went on to ride in Zurich. Last weekend he was set to ride in the Manchester Revolution, but the UCI told the organiser not to allow him, saying that under the court ruling, his ban was lifted only within Belgium.

    Keisse has said he will ask the Belgian court to take action against the UCI. The court had said that it could impose a 100,000 Euro fine against anyone who prevented him from riding. That fine could apparently also be applied to races who withdraw invitations to him.

    "If we hear nothing from the UCI. Keisse may start, " said Frank Boele, the Rotterdam race organizer, to sportwereld.be. "We know that we would otherwise have to pay a penalty. We do not want to get ahead of ourselves, but for now Iljo is simply on the list of participants. "

    WADA criticizes Belgian action

    WADA president John Fahey issued a statement on the issue, criticizing the Belgian court's action. The CAS ruling is valid worldwide, but Keisse chose to appeal it not within Switzerland, where the CAS is located, but in the Belgium court system.

    "Thus, Mr. Keisse has been able to ride on Belgian territory as a result of an interim decision of the Belgian Court which has jurisdiction in Belgium only,” he said.

    "The WADA supports both the UCI and the CAS,...

  • Schep steps into another track season

    Peter Schep signs on before the start.
    Article published:
    December 17, 2010, 4:29 GMT
    By:
    Les Clarke

    Experienced Dutchman already looking towards home Worlds

    Dutch track rider Peter Schep has already tasted success during the 2010-11 season and hopes he can carry that winning through to the UCI Track World Championships on home turf in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands.

    The experienced 33-year-old from Lopik took third in the Madison at the Melbourne Track World Cup earlier this month and finished second in last Friday's Australian Madison Championships, also held in Melbourne.

    He started the season in style, partnering local boy Iljo Keisse to glory in the Gent Six Day and he explained to Cyclingnews the fanatical support the pair received.

    "You can't imagine how the people were with him in Gent, it's unbelievable; nowhere else is it like this," said Schep. "There were about six-or seven thousand people every night, just for him. For me it was good to race with him! It was perfect."

    Schep also explained the reasons behind the duo's strength: "I'm more of an endurance guy and to have a good team it's good to have one endurance rider and one sprinter. One of the guys like Iljo is perfect because he's a world-class rider.

    "I've also raced with Theo Bos, who is also a sprint specialist, so I'm going to do Rotterdam Six with him in January. Those two guys are perfect for me to race with, the perfect combination."

    The Rotterdam Six Day kicks off a busy schedule for Schep, which culminates in an appearance at the UCI Track World Championships, to be held in Holland next year.

    "I think I do the World Cup in Beijing after Rotterdam, then I'll continue the Six Day tour with Berlin and Copenhagen, then I start preparations for the Worlds."

    The 2006 points race world champion and 2007 Worlds silver medallist in the Madison will be doing both these events in Apeldoorn. "I'll do the Madison and the points race at Worlds - normally that's my main event - and this year I got second. I've taken third and first in it before. It's a little bit my thing... but for an...

  • OUCH brings on women's pursuit team

    Sarah Hammer, world champion in the pursuit, was the first rider supported by OUCH
    Article published:
    December 17, 2010, 23:10 GMT
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Track cyclists to be supported toward 2012 Olympics

    The OUCH Pro Cycling Team led by Dr. Brent Kay has signed the women's pursuit team from the USA, Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch and Lauren Tamayo. The trio set a new world record time in the Pan American Championships in May, but the record has yet to be ratified by the UCI.

    Dr. Kay, who has supported Hammer for several years, is also helping to fund four men (Cody O'Reilly, Austin Carroll, Dan Harm and Jacob Duehring) to compete in the men's team pursuit as well as sprinter Jimmy Watkins.

    All of the athletes except Duehring, who is injured, are competing at the World Cup in Cali, Colombia. The women claimed the silver medal in the team pursuit on Thursday.

    "The primary role of the team is to provide opportunities and support for top track athletes, to enable them to train and focus on performances, and to be able to take on an international racing program," Dr. Kay told Cyclingnews.

    "In the past, track cyclists have used their road teams as their primary means of funding, but our goal is to change that and provide support so that riders can focus on the track."

    Dr. Kay, an owner of the OUCH Sports Medicine Center, focuses his business on helping elite athletes with injuries, but is expanding the business to offer cycling-specific services such as fitting and physiological testing. He previously supported the team as a title sponsor, but now as owner of the squad he has committed to supporting the track team toward the 2012 Olympic Games in London and beyond.

    He hopes to help the USA improve upon its record in track cycling on the world's stage.

    "The US has had relatively poor results in the Olympics compared with other countries. By my count we've had 11 medals in the 124 year history. We should be doing better.

    "London will serve as a foundation going forward," he said, adding that his long-term goals for the team are a decade down the road.

  • Keisse fighting to race Rotterdam Six Day

    Iljo Keisse (John Saey - Mega Deschacht)
    Article published:
    January 04, 2011, 18:48 GMT
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    UCI asked race organization to omit Belgian

    Iljo Keisse is continuing his fight to be allowed to race, while the UCI is standing firm on its opinion that he should not compete outside Belgium. Keisse is scheduled to start the Rotterdam Six Day on Thursday and is listed on the official program partnered with compatriot Kenny de Ketele, but the UCI has requested the organizers not let Keisse start.

    According to Het Nieuwsblad, the race organization received the request from the UCI in an e-mail, but asked for clarification before they would break the start contract with Keisse.

    Keisse's battle dates back to 2008, when he tested positive for two different banned substances at his hometown Six Day in Ghent, Belgium. He was cleared by the Royal Belgian Cycling Federation of doping after he was able to demonstrate that the cathine found in his system was the result of cold medicine and the HCT from a contaminated supplement, allowing Keisse to compete in the 2009 edition of the same race.

    The UCI disagreed with the Belgian federation's decision, and appealed the verdict along with the World Anti-Doping Agency to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The court issued a two-year suspension last July, but a Belgian appeals court temporarily overturned that decision in time for Keisse to compete in the 2010 Ghent Six Day. He won the race with partner Peter Schep.

    Keisse went on to compete in the Zürich Six Day before being informed by the UCI while he was in Manchester, England for a one-day track race that he was not allowed to competed outside of Belgium.

    In its October decision, the Brussels court said that it could fine any organization that refused to let Keisse start 100,000 euros. Keisse requested the UCI be fined after the Manchester incident, and the Rotterdam Six Day could face this fine should they concede to the UCI's demands.

    "It is all happening over my head," Keisse told Sporza.be. "I can only wait and hope that everything...

  • No Keisse in Rotterdam Six Day

    Iljo Keisse addresses the Gent crowd.
    Article published:
    January 06, 2011, 0:09 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sercu scrambles to find last minute replacement

    Belgian Iljo Keisse will not be allowed to participate in the Rotterdam Six Day following a request from the UCI to exclude him, Het Nieuwsblad reported today.

    Organizers yesterday asked the UCI for clarification on the request, which stems from a two-year suspension for a 2008 doping incident given to Keisse by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last July, but temporarily overturned by a Belgian appeals court last fall. The UCI is standing firm in its assertion that the appeals court decision only allows Keisse to race inside Belgium until the court renders its final decision in April.

    Patrick Sercu is now charged with finding a last-minute replacement to race with Keisse's scheduled partner, Kenny De Ketele.

    "It's a disaster for Kenny de Ketele. I don't know who I will pair him with on Thursday. Remember that all of the available riders are already on the participants list. I cannot make a rider appear out of nowhere by magic - certainly not someone of the caliber of Iljo Keisse. I am looking for a substitute," Sercu told Sportwereld.be.

    Sercu, who also coordinates the teams for the Bremen Six Day, doubts that Keisse will be able to fulfill his contract for that race since the final decision by the Brussels court is not due until April, well after the Six Day season has ended.

  • Phinney voted Cyclingnews Male Track Rider of the Year

    Taylor Phinney (United States) on the starting block.
    Article published:
    January 06, 2011, 17:52 GMT
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    Pursuit world champion bests Hoy for top honours

    Taylor Phinney may have spent the least amount of time on the track this year as any of his competitors in the best male track rider category, but Cyclingnews readers resoundingly rewarded the 20-year-old phenom with his first-ever Reader Poll award. The talented American earned 6,798 votes to top runner-up Chris Hoy by 2,735 and reverse the top-two from 2009's men's track poll.

    At the UCI Track World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, the then 19-year-old Phinney won his second consecutive rainbow-striped jersey in the 4,000m individual pursuit. Winning a world championship, much less attempting back-to-back victories, is never an easy endeavor as Phinney faced stiff competition from New Zealand's Jesse Sergent, his Trek-Livestrong teammate on the road, as well as Australia's Jack Bobridge, who clocked the second fastest 4,000m pursuit time in history (4:14.427) en route to an Australian national championship in early February, a month and a half prior to the Worlds.

    Sergent qualified quickest in 4:15.988, followed by Phinney in 4:16.102 and then Bobridge with 4:17.169. In the finals, however, Phinney topped Sergent 4:16.600 to 4:18.459 to add a second gold medal to his elite world championship collection.

    "I came here with the aim of defending my title, so it is really unbelievable to win," Phinney said in Copenhagen. "It took a lot of effort, but it was worth it. The crowd was great, everybody cheering - it was awesome, that is all I can ask for."

    Three days later Phinney earned another world championship medal, claiming the bronze in the Omnium. Phinney won the individual pursuit and finished second in the 1,000m time trial events, had a respectable flying 200m, but faltered in the points race and scratch race to finish behind winner Ed Clancy (Great Britain) and silver medalist Leigh Howard (Australia).

    With Phinney's favourite event, the 4,000m individual pursuit, no longer an Olympic discipline, sadly...

  • Hammer voted Cyclingnews Female Track Rider of the Year

    Sarah Hammer will focus on the team pursuit and omnium
    Article published:
    January 06, 2011, 18:34 GMT
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    Pursuit world championship, two world records highlight banner year

    Sarah Hammer considered 2010 her "best-ever on a bike" and Cyclingnews readers agreed, awarding the 27-year-old American 4,162 votes and top honours as Female Track Rider of the Year in a tight, three-way contest over Great Britain's Victoria Pendleton and Australia's Anna Meares.

    Early in the year at the UCI Track World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, Hammer powered to the 3,000m individual pursuit gold medal in a dominating performance. Hammer qualified fastest in 3:27.826, 2.5 seconds ahead of Great Britain's Wendy Houvenaghel, and then bested the Briton by nearly four seconds in the final to earn the third pursuit championship of her career.

    Two months later at the Pan American Track Championships in Aquascalientes, Mexico, Hammer's scintillating form etched her name into the record books not once, but twice in two days. First, Hammer clocked 3:22.269 in the 3,000m individual pursuit qualifiers to break the world record of 3:24.537 set by New Zealand's Sara Ulmer during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The next day Hammer, along with teammates Lauren Tamayo and Dotsie Bausch, broke the 3,000m team pursuit world record of 3:21.552 set earlier in the year by New Zealand at the track world championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. The American trio stopped the clock in 3:19.569 en route to a gold medal against Cuba in the finals.

    "I am thrilled to win the award, especially with so many other great competitors within the female track category," Hammer told Cyclingnews. "Results-wise, 2010 was my best-ever year on the bike, and even better, I had a blast doing it!

    "On my side, 2010 felt like one of my most exciting years on a bike and one where I was very happy to be close to pain-free in the back department. I've realized that injuries are a funny thing as I've never been happier to be able to get on the bike and suffer and I think the results for the year illustrated that.

    "Looking back, I...