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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, November 23, 2015

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary

Keisse & Morkov win Ghent 6-Day

The 75th edition of the Ghent 6-Day is in the history books and Iljo Keisse and Michael Morkov are the winners.

  1. Iljo Keisse/Michael Morkov
  2. Gijs van Hoecke/ Kenny de Ketele @ 1 lap
  3. Jasper de Buyst/ Otto Vergaerde @ 1 lap

Here's what Lotto-Soudal had to say about the famous race:

After six days of hard work Jasper De Buyst and Otto Vergaerde finished third at the Lotto Six-Days Flanders-Ghent. On the exciting last day four duos battled till the end for the three podium places. In the final madison Iljo Keisse and Michael Mørkøv turned out to be the best. De Ketele and van Hoecke got second, De Buyst and Vergaerde third.

Jasper De Buyst: “I came here to win, even though I knew strong duos would try to beat me. Day one was hard, during the week we got better and better and after the third day we took over the lead. At the beginning of the last day we didn’t stand on the first place anymore, but the first duos were very close together in the ranking. After the first madison of the last day it didn’t look good for us. At the end we conquered a podium place, respect for the winners who were strong the whole week.”

2015 Ghent 6-day

De Buyst and Vergaerde at the 2015 Ghent 6-Day

“For Otto it was only his fourth Six-Day, last year he was fifth. It’s a big difference of course, becoming fifth without any pressure or live with the pressure of the overall win. He did a good job, but it’s logical that he had difficult moments during the past six days. After all, we are only 21 years old. A third consecutive victory would have indeed be great, but I don’t want to moan, we can be satisfied to step on the podium next to top riders like Keisse and Mørkøv.”

“Now I’ll go on a holiday. I’m leaving Monday morning and in the beginning of December I’ll go on training camp with the team. The next months I will focus on Rio. We’ll talk about this during the training camp, but now it’s time to recharge the batteries, both physically and mentally. It has been a long season. Last winter there was no time for a holiday, so it’s now even more welcome.”

Etixx-Quick Step's Pieter Serry looks to the 2016 season

The team posted this about the rider:

Although he didn't have the smooth road he had wished for since turning pro, the Belgian is confident luck will turn its face to him and he'll finally get on the right track and land that victory that will take his career into a totally new dimension.

Pieter Serry knows what it means to crash. To get injured. To have your plans shattered and your dreams put on hold. But he also knows how to fight back, to work hard in order to return even stronger, and to rely on the support of the ones surrounding you. He got to experience all these once again, in November, as he crashed during a mountain bike riding a couple of weeks ago and as a result was diagnosed with a basal skull fracture, a broken tooth and several superficial wounds.

But not even this setback could make Pieter Serry lose his optimism, which looks to be more solid than ever, especially today, when he turns 27 years old: "I'm really happy, because I have my family and friends with me, but the best present is that I can go out with my bike. The recovery is going well, I began riding a couple of days ago and I enjoyed every moment spent with my Specialized. Today I'm celebrating with the family, but I can't wait to go to the December training camp and start building-up for 2016."

Pieter Serry

Pieter Serry at the 2014 world time trial championships.

It wasn't just the family that was close to Pieter during these three weeks, but also the Etixx – Quick-Step team, with the medical staff by his side and the sports directors talking with him in more than one occasion so that together they could plan next season, thus proving that the team is a second family, as the 27-year-old underlined: "It wasn't an easy year, I crashed a lot, but I still got good results, like the team time trial win in the Czech Tour and my second place in a stage of the Tour de Wallonie. Despite the fact I didn't notch a victory, I was happy every time the team got a success. When somebody wins, is the win of the entire team and that gives me joy."

Next season will be Pieter's fourth with Etixx – Quick-Step and could signal a new beginning in his career, one which he hopes is going to take him on a road that will finally bring that much desired victory: "It was my dream to turn pro and race with a big team, which I did. Now I'm prepared and very motivated to make a new step. I'm still young and the future lies ahead of me, so I hope that one day I'll raise my arms to the sky and feel that beautiful emotion of getting a win."

Here's the team's web site

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary