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Iljo Keisse (Belgium)
After winning the Madison title at the European Championships on Sunday, Iljo Keisse is confident...
After winning the Madison title at the European Championships on Sunday, Iljo Keisse is confident ahead of the six-day season opener in Amsterdam. "Victory at the European Championships is a very good way to start the winter," Keisse told Sporza.
"I took fourth at the World Cup and the Olympics, which was very frustrating, so I was extremely motivated to make things right. For three years I have ridden with Kenny De Ketele; it was high time for us to prove ourselves and win a major competition," he added.
Keisse is paired with experienced German Robert Bartko in Amsterdam, not De Ketele, although he said that, "Kenny can now gain some experience."
About his team-mate in Amsterdam, Keisse said, "Bartko is a very strong Olympic and world champion. He is the ideal mate to win six-days every week and ride at the same level. In Amsterdam we'll defend our title and we want to show that our condition is good. We want to win as much as possible, including six this."
Last season Keisse and Bartko won the Amsterdam, Gent and Bremen six-days but were bettered by the formidable Swiss duo of Bruno Risi and Franco Marvulli, who took seven wins; Risi is the most successful current six-day rider ever, with 54 titles in his career.
"I want to close the gap to Risi this season," added Keiss. "Sometimes I did it tough last year, although now I would like to get a bit closer."