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Flu and crashes shuffle up Six Day field

The current flu epidemic spreading out across Northen European countires has taken its toll at the Lotto Six Day in Hasselt, Belgium, where competitors are already decimated by several crashes. On Monday night, Andreas Beikirch, Peter Schep and Steve Schets were forced to give up the competition because of illness.

"We neutralised them on Monday night in the hope that we can include them again on the last evening [Tuesday]," race director Patrick Sercu told Sportwereld. It is not yet known whether the three track cyclists will be able to take up the race again. Meanwhile, the cards were mixed up anew at the Sixday to continue competition.

"Kenny De Ketele is forming a team with Andreas Müller," Sercu explained. "Marc Hester, who crashed badly on Saturday, is racing in the individual events. For the team races, Marc's shoulder is hurting too much. But there are also good news: Bobby Traksel has been released from hospital."

Traksel crashed during the scratch race on Saturday and had to undergo medical stationary medical treatment for a broken rib. Hester came down during the Team elimination when he and his teammate Christian Lademann touched wheels.

The leading duo Iljo Keisse/Marco Villa still have an advantage of two points in the overall classification going into the last night of racing. HK