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65th Zesdaagse Van Vlaanderen-Gent - 6D

Belgium, November 22-27, 2005

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Day 6 - November 27

Gilmore and Keisse take it out on home turf

By Nick Rosenthal

Heading into the final day of the Gent Six, it looked to be a three-horse race between Gilmore/Keisse, Slippens/Stam and Risi/Betschart. The Swiss pair had looked especially strong and determined on Saturday, and many fans saw them as potential victors in this race.

In the very first race on Sunday, Risi and Betschart went on the attack, taking a lap gain during an elimination race - an unusual move, and a sign of their determination to win. Just minutes later, victory was snatched away from them by a crash in the bunch that put Bruno Risi out of the race, and also put Belgian rider Dimitri de Fauw out. Risi injured his left knee, and despite a gutsy and determined effort to get back on his bike a few minutes later, he had to call it a day.

Kurt Betschart and Andreas Beikirch formed a new team, but they didn't settle for just finishing the race. The Swiss and the German rode very aggressively, trying right to the end to get the lap gain that would give them victory.

In the end, it came down to a straight race between Gilmore/Keisse and Slippens/Stam, fought out in the final sets of sprints in the Madison. Slippens/Stam won the first one at 40 laps to go, boosting their slender overall lead. But then the Belgian crowd roared their approval as Keisse won the next sprint, with Gilmore and Keisse keeping a firm hold of the remaining sprints to win by eights points overall (with 271 points, as opposed to Slippens/Stam with 263).

This was Matt Gilmore's fifth victory in his home six-day race, and the first win in Gent for local hero Iljo Keisse.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Nick Rosenthal/www.fatnick.com

  • Bruno Risi smiles as he slings in partner Kurt Betschart. Lying in third place overall, the Swiss pair were strong contenders for overall victory. Minutes later, Risi was brought down in a crash and injured his knee, putting him out of the race.
  • Pain: Injured, Bruno Risi is helped back to his cabin. Note the strapping on his fingers.Risi also injured his left knee.
  • Concern… Race organiser Patrick Sercu checks up on how Risi is doing. A former six-day rider himself, Sercu's care for the riders is obvious in this photo.
  • The show must go on. British pro Rob Hayles wins a race on the final day of the Ghent Six
  • Professionalism. Rob Hayles and Mark Cavendish take time to pose with their race sponsor, a cheese producer.
  • New team: Dimitri de Fauw was put out of the race by the same crash that injured Risi, so De Fauw’s partner Andreas Beikirch paired up with Kurt Betschart for the final Madison – and they made a good, aggressive team, trying hard to steal the overall victory with a lap gain
  • Dutch style... Danny Stam and Rob Slippens were classy as ever, taking second overall this year.
  • Full-on! Heading into the final five sprints of the last Madison, Slippens and Stam held a slender overall lead. Here Iljo Keisse comes round Rob Slippens to move Gilmore / Keisse into the overall lead.
  • Full gas! Matt Gilmore gives it “full gas” in the penultimate sprint, to the delight of the Belgian crowd.
  • Hard change - Matt Gilmore gives Iljo Keisse a full-speed handsling during the final moments of the Ghent Six.
  • One lap to go - Rob Slippens leads out Iljo Keisse, but the young Belgian came round Slippens to cross the line first, sealing the victory for Gilmore / Keisse
  • Matt Gilmore and Iljo Keisse on the podium
  • Bubbly: Gilmore smiles as the champagne corks pop
  • Shower me... Iljo Keisse gives Matt Gilmore a shower of champagne
  • Interviews time. Matt Gilmore takes time to thank the crowd for their support
  • Fresh. Matt Gilmore and Iljo Keisse pose happily for photos after their victory. This is the fifth time Gilmore has won in Ghent, but the first for Keisse. I suspect it will not be his last, either!


Points race
1 Franco Marvulli (Swi)/Marco Villa (Ita)             16 pts
2 Bruno Risi/Kurt Betschart (Swi)                     11
3 Robert Slippens/Danny Stam (Ned)                    10
4 Wouter Van Mechelen (Bel)/Matthé Pronk (Ned)         6
5 Marty Nothstein (USA)/Juan Llaneras (Spa)            6
6 Christian Grasmann (Ger)/Marc Hester (Den)           5
7 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)/Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)      4
8 Robert Bartko (Ger)/Scott Mcgrory (Aus)              4
9 Peter Schep (Ned)/Gerd Dörich (Ger)                  3
10 Matthew Gilmore/Iljo Keisse (Bel)                   1
11 Robert Hayles/Mark Cavendish (GBr)
12 Steven Deneef/Steve Schets (Bel)
13 Dimitri De Fauw (Bel)/Andreas Beikirch (Ger)
Team elimination
1 Robert Slippens/Danny Stam (Ned)                    15 pts
2 Robert Bartko (Ger)/Scott Mcgrory (Aus)             10
3 Christian Grasmann (Ger)/Marc Hester (Den)           8
4 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)/Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)      6
5 Wouter Van Mechelen (Bel)/Matthé Pronk (Ned)         4
6 Matthew Gilmore/Iljo Keisse (Bel)                    2
7 Dimitri De Fauw (Bel)/Andreas Beikirch (Ger)
8 Bruno Risi/Kurt Betschart (Swi)
9 Peter Schep (Ned)/Gerd Dörich (Ger)
10 Robert Hayles/Mark Cavendish (GBr)
11 Marty Nothstein (USA)/Juan Llaneras (Spa)
12 Franco Marvulli (Swi)/Marco Villa (Ita)
13 Steven Deneef/Steve Schets (Bel)
1 lap time trial
1 Robert Slippens/Danny Stam (Ned)                    15 pts
2 Robert Bartko (Ger)/Scott Mcgrory (Aus)             10
3 Wouter Van Mechelen (Bel)/Matthé Pronk (Ned)         8
4 Marty Nothstein (USA)/Juan Llaneras (Spa)            6
5 Matthew Gilmore/Iljo Keisse (Bel)                    4
6 Dimitri De Fauw (Bel)/Andreas Beikirch (Ger)         2
7 Christian Grasmann (Ger)/Marc Hester (Den)
8 Robert Hayles/Mark Cavendish (GBr)
9 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)/Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)
10 Steven Deneef/Steve Schets (Bel)
11 Peter Schep (Ned)/Gerd Dörich (Ger)
12 Franco Marvulli (Swi)/Marco Villa (Ita)
13 Bruno Risi/Kurt Betschart (Swi)
Derny finale (1-6)
1 Matthew Gilmore (Bel)                                5 pts
2 Kurt Betschart (Swi)                                 4
3 Danny Stam (Ned)                                     3
4 Robert Bartko (Ger)                                  2
5 Juan Llaneras (Spa)                                  1
6 Marco Villa (Ita)
1 Robert Hayles (GBr)                                 15 pts
2 Franco Marvulli (Swi)                               10
3 Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)                            8
4 Scott Mcgrory (Aus)                                  6
5 Marty Nothstein (USA)                                4
6 Marc Hester (Den)                                    2
7 Steven Deneef (Bel)
8 Gerd Dörich (Ger)
9 Wouter Van Mechelen (Bel)
10 Iljo Keisse (Bel)
11 Andreas Beikirch (Ger)
12 Robert Slippens (Ned)
13 Bruno Risi (Swi)
Derny final (7-12)
1 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)                                5 pts
2 Andreas Beikirch (Ger)                               4
3 Wouter Van Mechelen (Bel)                            3
4 Steven Deneef (Bel)                                  2
5 Mark Cavendish (GBr)                                 1
6 Christian Grasmann (Ger)
Team 500m time trial
1 Christian Grasmann (Ger)/Marc Hester (Den)          15 pts
2 Franco Marvulli (Swi)/Marco Villa (Ita)             10
3 Robert Hayles/Mark Cavendish (GBr)                   8
4 Robert Bartko (Ger)/Scott Mcgrory (Aus)              6
5 Matthew Gilmore/Iljo Keisse (Bel)                    4
6 Robert Slippens/Danny Stam (Ned)                     2
7 Wouter Van Mechelen (Bel)/Matthé Pronk (Ned)
8 Marty Nothstein (USA)/Juan Llaneras (Spa)
9 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)/Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)
10 Steven Deneef/Steve Schets (Bel)
11 Peter Schep (Ned)/Gerd Dörich (Ger)
12 Bruno Risi/Kurt Betschart (Swi)
13 Dimitri De Fauw (Bel)/Andreas Beikirch (Ger)
1 Marty Nothstein (USA)/Juan Llaneras (Spa)           15 pts
2 Steven Deneef/Steve Schets (Bel)                    10
3 Christian Grasmann (Ger)/Marc Hester (Den)           8
4 Franco Marvulli (Swi)/Marco Villa (Ita)              6
5 Peter Schep (Ned)/Gerd Dörich (Ger)                  4
6 Wouter Van Mechelen (Bel)/Matthé Pronk (Ned)         2
7 Andreas Beikirch (Ger)/Kurt Betschart (Swi)
8 Matthew Gilmore/Iljo Keisse (Bel)
9 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)/Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)
10 Robert Bartko (Ger)/Scott Mcgrory (Aus)
11 Robert Hayles/Mark Cavendish (GBr)
12 Robert Slippens/Danny Stam (Ned)
Final Classification
1 Matthew Gilmore/Iljo Keisse (Bel)                  371 pts
2 Robert Slippens/Danny Stam (Ned)                   363
3 Andreas Beikirch (Ger)/Kurt Betschart (Swi)        234
1 lap behind  
4 Robert Bartko (Ger)/Scott Mcgrory (Aus)            313 pts
9 laps behind  
5 Kenny De Ketele (Bel)/Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)    179 pts
10 laps behind  
6 Franco Marvulli (Swi)/Marco Villa (Ita)            237 pts
18 laps behind  
7 Marty Nothstein (USA)/Juan Llaneras (Spa)          140 pts
23 laps behind  
8 Peter Schep (Ned)/Gerd Dörich (Ger)                 52 pts
24 laps behind  
9 Wouter Van Mechelen (Bel)/Matthé Pronk (Ned)       164 pts
10 Steven Deneef/Steve Schets (Bel)                  150
26 laps behind  
11 Christian Grasmann (Ger)/Marc Hester (Den)        159 pts
34 laps behind  
12 Robert Hayles/Mark Cavendish (GBr)                141 pts
13 Dimitri De Fauw (Bel)/Andreas Beikirch (Ger)


1 Nicky Cocquyt/Davy Tuytens (Bel)                  110 pts

At 1 lap

2 Michael Arends/Erik Mohs (Ger)                     94
3 Gert-Jan Jonkman/Kevin Sluimer (Ned)               72
4 Andy Tennant/Ian Stannard (GBr)                    36

At 2 laps

5 Jiri Hochmann/Vojtech Haceky (Cze)                 18

At 6 laps

6 Triatan Marquet (Swi)/Tim Mertens (Bel)           119

At 8 laps

7 Niels Pieters (Ned)/Tom Smith (GBr)                30
8 Thomas Murray/Peter Williams (GBr)                 17

At 24 laps

9 Mads Rydicher/Philip Nielsen (Den)                 16

At 25 laps

10 Michael Kocner/Georg Tazreiter (Aut)               8