De Ketele/De Buyst back in the lead in Rotterdam

The Rotterdam Six-Day Race is heating up after four days. The overnight leaders are Kenny de Ketele and Jasper de Buyst, but three other teams are now on the same lap as the Belgians. Michael Mørkøv and Alex Rasmussen, in particular, made up for lost ground on Sunday afternoon.

"Four pairs in the same lap makes the race harder to control," race leader De Ketele said.

The fourth day is the only day the racing takes place in the afternoon. "That's hard," De Ketele said. "You lose the eat, ride, sleep rhythm you had in the first days. We didn't sleep that much. I am happy we can go for dinner now and relax all night." 

However, they can only relax a little. Coming into the fourth day, Niki Terpstra and Iljo Keisse led the overall ranking with De Buyst/De Ketele in the same lap. As the teams in first and second position watched and countered each others, the other two teams in the top four came closer. The fourth day finished with four riders in the same lap with the Danish duo Mørkøv/Rasmussen doing especially well.

They were down two laps before the day started but quickly passed the 200-point mark by winning the elimination race. That earned them a bonus lap and they changed positions on the leader board with Jens Mouris and Wim Stroetinga but just like the Dutch duo, they found themselves one lap down on the top two teams.

The final Madison changed this. The 200 laps were yet again a good race to watch, in which many teams worked together to lap the main field.

Just like on Saturday night, De Buyst/De Ketele  and Keisse/Terpstra constantly watched each other. When the Omega Pharma-Quick Step performed another doublette, lapping the field twice, the reaction from their Belgian adversaries took some time. In the end, De Ketele launched his young compatriot to get them even again with Keisse/Terpstra.

Meanwhile the teams in third and fourth position took an extra lap on the main field to bring both Mørkøv/Rasmussen and Stroetinga/Mouris in the same lap as the top two teams. Stroetinga attacked one more time and after a five-lap sprint, he and Mouris won their first Madison race of the Rotterdam Six-Day. Mørkøv/Rasmussen finished second, bringing them at 21 points for the number two position. At the top of the ranking, De Buyst/De Ketele only have a seven-point margin on Keisse/Terpstra.

"Four teams in the same lap makes things more complicated than yesterday or the day before," De Buyst said after the final event. "Four teams are hard to control, and there are some great racers there. It will be hard to keep this position until Tuesday night. The more we [Terpstra/Keisse and De Buyst/De Ketele] look at each other, the others can take back a lap. For the final victory, four teams are now in the running and it will be very hard to control this race."

Theo Bos and Graeme Brown continue their journey upward. On Sunday, they chose the tactic to win back laps and other teams were gladly helping them in both Madison races. The Team Belkin riders were in last place after two days but this new tactic made them rise to 10th position after four days of racing. Bos hopes to take back his 500-meter time trial track record back from Tristan Marguet and Franco Marvulli.

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Overall standings after day four
1Kenny De Ketele / Jasper De Buyst (Bel) RTV Rijnmond250pts
2Niki Terpstra (Ned) / Iljo Keisse (Bel) Flanderijn Incasso243Row 1 - Cell 3
3Michael Mørkøv / Alex Rasmussen (Den) VD Valk Hotel Ridderkerk222Row 2 - Cell 3
4Jens Mouris / Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Vlasman156Row 3 - Cell 3
5Barry Markus (Ned) / Leif Lampater (Ger) Peinemann122-2laps
6Yoeri Havik / Nick Stöpler (Ned) AA Drink133-6laps
7Robert Bartko / Marcel Kalz (Ger) Tacx76-9laps
8Franco Marvulli / Tristan Marguet (Swi) Mako Cleanng Service128-10laps
9Vivien Brisse (Fra) / Marc Hester (Den) Werkgevers Servicepunt82-12laps
10Theo Bos (Ned) / Graeme Brown (Aus) Belkin58-15laps
11Michel Kreder / Wesley Kreder (Ned) AD38Row 10 - Cell 3
12Melvin Boskamp / Jesper Asselman (Ned) Metec38Row 11 - Cell 3
13Guy East / Daniel Holloway (USA) Island 20016Row 12 - Cell 3
14Arno van der Zwet (Ned) / Nolan Hoffmann (RSA) Holland Werkt50-18laps
15Didier Caspers / Melvin van Zijl (Ned) AM Recycling8-19laps

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