Iljo Keisse and Niki Terpstra jumped back to the top of the leaderboard at the Rotterdam Six-Days after day three. In a tight battle between them and their main rival Jasper de Buyst/Kenny de Ketele, the Omega Pharma-Quick Step riders lead by only seven points. "It now comes down to experience," Keisse reacted. "We are strong, they are strong but Jasper is only 20 years old. We have to take benefit from that."
De Buyst/De Ketele started the third day in the Ahoy Arena with a one lap advantage over Keisse/Terpstra. It came down to the last event of the evening before Keisse/Terpstra managed to take it back. The first madison of the night was for the teams that were halfway up the leaderboard. Barry Markus beat Nick Stöpler in the final sprint. He and partner Leif Lampater firmly stand in fifth place in the overall.
In the elimination race, the two leading teams kept an eye on each other. Terpstra/Keisse and De Buyst/De Ketele shadowed each other in the race. In the end it came to a showdown sprint between the Belgian king of Six-Days Keisse and the Crown Prince De Buyst. The latter started the sprint one lap from the finish but Keisse marked him and beat him by mere centimeters.
Despite their furious attempt to beat the track record held by Theo Bos himself, he and Graeme Brown were beaten in the time trial by Swiss team Franco Marvulli and Tristan Marguet. Marvulli, winner of 33 Six-Days in his long career, launched his young compatriot Marguet to clock a time of 21,258, averaging 67,739 km/h.
A spectacular derny race saw Michael Mørkøv take victory. In a last lap move where his derny pacer had to choose a route all the way on the top of the track, the Danish Tinkoff-Saxo rider rode to victory taking valuable points in the battle for third position in the overall classification. In the second race Keisse seemed to be on his way to victory and the maximum haul of points but Wim Stroetinga thought differently and beat the Belgian after a very fast last lap.
The penultimate elimination race was not contested by the teams at the top of the leaderboard. None of them gained points as World Madison Champion Vivien Brisse sprinted to victory with his teammate Marc Hester. As usual the final Madison race of 250 laps would be decisive. Keisse/Terptra brought their points deficit to De Ketele/De Buyst back to just five points but they were still a lap down.
It was a cat and mouse game where both teams took laps individually and kept countering the other team's attacks. It was a very attractive race for the crowd in a full Ahoy Arena. The decisive move came in the final 20 laps. Both teams were level on laps in the race itself but De Buyst/De Ketele still had their one lap overall lead from beforehand. In a joint move they tried to lap the field. Terpstra bridged to the peloton in the final 250 meters but De Buyst did not reach the last rider of the main peloton. Terpstra overtook the entire peloton and sprinted to victory.
"De Ketele and De Buyst are only three points from a bonus lap," Terpstra said. When the Belgians crossed the 200 points mark they were on the same lap again. "So we only lead by seven points now. But we are in the lead and that's where we want to be."
The battle for third position in the overall ranking is between Mouris/Stroetinga and former world champions Mørkøv/Rasmussen. The Dutch riders are one lap up. "Those are the four best teams. We still have to watch those guys of course because if we only watch De Buyst/De Ketele the others might take advantage. We have to stay focused," Terpstra concluded.
Standings after day three
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Niki Terpstra (Ned) / Iljo Keisse (Bel) Flanderijn Incasso||204||pts|
|2||Kenny De Ketele / Jasper De Buyst (Bel) RTV Rijnmond||197 - 1 lap|
|3||Jens Mouris / Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Vlasman||111 - 1 lap|
|4||Michael Mørkøv / Alex Rasmussen (Den) VD Valk Hotel Ridderkerk||173 - 2 laps|
|5||Barry Markus (Ned) / Leif Lampater (Ger) Peinemann||116 - 3 laps|
|6||Yoeri Havik / Nick Stöpler (Ned) AA Drink||79 - 8 laps|
|7||Franco Marvulli / Tristan Marguet (Swi) Mako Cleanng Service||94 - 9 laps|
|8||Robert Bartko / Marcel Kalz (Ger) Tacx||60 - 9 laps|
|9||Vivien Brisse (Fra) / Marc Hester (Den) Werkgevers Servicepunt||62 - 12 laps|
|10||Melvin Boskamp / Jesper Asselman (Ned) Metec||38 - 14 laps|
|11||Guy East / Daniel Holloway (USA) Island 200||16 - 14 laps|
|12||Theo Bos (Ned) / Graeme Brown (Aus) Belkin||46 - 15 laps|
|13||Michel Kreder / Wesley Kreder (Ned) AD||20 - 15 laps|
|14||Arno van der Zwet (Ned) / Nolan Hoffmann (RSA) Holland Werkt||36 - 16 laps|
|15||Didier Caspers / Melvin van Zijl (Ned) AM Recycling||8 - 17 laps|