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Iljo Keisse (John Saey - Mega Deschacht)
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 Sporza.be.
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.