News shorts: De Buyst and Vergaerde lead in Gent, Operation for Vanmarcke

Van der Poel nervous about return, Readers want Russian cycling investigated

De Buyst and Vergaerde take control at Gent Six

Jasper de Buyst and Otto Vergaerde have moved into the lead at the Gent Six Day, with three days of competition remaining, after taking a lap on the rest of the field. The pair took a lap on the field, as did Iljo Keisse and Michael Morkov, in the first team event of the evening, the Madison and in the points race.

De Buyst and Vergaerde currently have 215 points, while Keisse and Morkov – who were leading going into the session - have more with 228 but trail them by a lap. Gijs Van Hoecke and Kenny de Ketele are in third with 219 and are also a lap down on the leaders.

The Gent Six will continue on Friday and is due to finish on Sunday.

Otto Vergaerde (Bel) and Jasper De Buyst (Bel)

Wrist operation for Vanmarcke

Sep Vanmarcke is resting up after having an operation on his right wrist to alleviate chronic swelling.

The LottoNL-Jumbo team posted a picture of the Belgian rider with his arm in in bandages and a sling after his minor operation. Vanmarcke ended his 2015 season at Paris-Tours at the start of October.

“Yesterday, I was in surgery on the right wrist,” Vanmarcke wrote on his Facebook page. “An injury that has bothered me all throughout the year and was tackled by Dr. Koch tackled in Den Haag (NL). With the necessary rest and rehabilitation of the wrist I’ll be back to the old me in about a month. Then I can get back to work without worrying about the spring."

Van der Poel nervous about Koksijde return

Cyclo-cross world champion Mathieu van der Poel is set to make his return to racing at this weekend’s World Cup race in Koksijde. Van der Poel, who is yet to race this winter after picking up a knee injury at the Tour de l’Avenir, has said that he’s a bit apprehensive ahead of the race but he’s still hoping for a strong performance.

“I do have some serious conditional backlog. Therefore, I have no idea what I can expect Sunday,” Van der Poel told Sporza during a press conference. "I'm more nervous than on Sunday for the World Championships in Tabor. If I do not finish in the top, I'll be very disappointed."

Koksijde is the third round of the cyclo-cross World Cup, which is currently led by Wout Van Aert. Van der Poel suffered his knee injury in August and had thought he’d avoided serious injury. He had initially been able to train but serious pain forced him into going under the knife in October. He was soon able to get back on the bike and has been training for just over a month.

Mathieu Van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) in his new rainbow jersey

Cyclingnews readers vote to investigate Russian cycling

Cyclingnews readers have voted massively in favour of WADA carrying out an investigation into cycling in Russia after a detailed investigation into athletics, sparked by whistleblowers and media investigations, discovered serious anti-doping failures.

Former WADA president Dick Pound led the independent investigation and uncovered what was described as “deeply rooted culture of cheating,” with officials allegedly demanding kickbacks to cover up cases of doping, and an organised system of doping and parallel anti-doping tests to protect leading athletes. On Wednesday WADA decided to declare the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) as non-compliant as a result of the investigation.

UCI president Brian Cookson expressed his confidence in the Russian Cycling Federation, which is headed up by UCI Management Committee member Igor Makarov. However the Russian Anti-Doping Agency executive director Nikita Kamaev is on the UCI's Anti-Doping Commission, which helps shape anti-doping regulations for cycling.

While the Russian investigation restricted its terms of reference to athletics, WADA's Athlete Committee chair Beckie Scott called for all of Russian sport to be examined. "I feel that there are a lot of athletes watching and waiting right now," Scott said. "We're at a crossroads. We urge you to please consider these athletes and consider these sports as a whole."

Cyclingnews readers agreed, with over a thousand people voting in favour of an investigation. Only 8% voted against.

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