Behind on points entering the Six-Days of Rotterdam's concluding Madison, partners Iljo Keisse and Niki Terpstra lapped their rivals with only a handful of laps remaining to steal overall victory from defending champions Peter Schep and Wim Stroetinga. Five teams started the concluding Madison on the lead lap and by points alone Keisse and Terpstra would have finished fourth overall, but the Belgian/Dutch duo turned on the speed to gain the decisive lap which earned them the overall title.
The 31st edition of the Six-Days of Rotterdam was the first Six of the new year and provided tightly contested racing from start to finish. Defending champions Peter Schep and Wim Stroetinga led on the opening night as well as the penultimate night and looked like victory was their's but for a heartbreaking final Madison. Keisse and Terpstra had earlier led after the third night and young upstarts Nick Stöpler and Yoeri Havik also had their stint atop the standings after the second and fourth nights in Rotterdam.
While each winter in recent years the Six-Day racing calendar shrinks in size, the racing in Rotterdam showed how riveting and dynamic this winter staple of professional cycling can be.
The 31st Six-Days of Rotterdam also saw the retirement of legendary derny driver Joop Zijlaard. The 69-year-old Dutchman had paced multiple generations of the Six's stars and brought his career to a conclusion on home soil in the Netherlands.
Click on the gallery to the right for photos from this year's edition of the Six-Days of Rotterdam.
Based in the southeastern United States, Peter produces race coverage for all disciplines, edits news and writes features. The New Jersey native has 30 years of road racing and cyclo-cross experience, starting in the early 1980s as a Junior in the days of toe clips and leather hairnets. Over the years he's had the good fortune to race throughout the United States and has competed in national championships for both road and 'cross in the Junior and Masters categories. The passion for cycling started young, as before he switched to the road Peter's mission in life was catching big air on his BMX bike.
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