The Rotterdam Six Day kicked off on Thursday with the World Champion pair of Bruno Risi and Franco Marvulli taking the win in the first Madison of the night. The Swiss pair was one of five teams on the lead lap, including last year's victors, Iljo Keisse and Robert Bartko. Also on the lead lap were Erik Zabel and Peter Schep and the German team of Andreas Beikirch and Leif Lampater. One team which made the lead lap, but whose continued participation is in question is the Dutch pair of Danny Stam and Robert Slippens.
Slippens, who made his comeback to the sport this season after a 2006 road crash left him with severe injuries and forced him to miss the last Six Day season, dropped out before the final night of the Zürich Six Day earlier this week due to a severe bruise to his tailbone.
The 32-year-old hoped that the sore was sufficiently healed to take part in his home event. "Rotterdam is for us a home competition for which we have a special feeling. After consulting with the doctor, I decided to start tonight," Slippens said, hoping that the swelling would go down over the course of the week. "I will not be totally pain-free, but most importantly I hope to go the six days in full. I will have to ice the spot frequently and ride with a double chamois in my shorts."
Slippens took a break during the first round of the Derny event to ice his wounds, and to be sure, much attention will be paid to the integrity of his nether region during the course of the event by his hometown fans.
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