60th Six Days of Gent - 6D

Gent, Belgium, November 21-26, 2000

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Day 6 - November 26

Gilmore/Martinello triumph at last

By Nick Rosenthal, cyclingnews.com correspondent
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The champions
Photo: © Nick Rosenthal

Belgium's Matt Gilmore and Italy's Silvio Martinello have emerged as the worthy winners of the Gent Six.

The last night's racing got off to an exciting start during the introductory "meet the riders" parade, where the riders ride round the track in pairs, wheel to wheel, being introduced. France's Robert Sassonne had been introduced and was circling slowly at the top of the track, when he pulled a foot out of his pedal and wobbled badly. It is a testament to his skill that he held it at all, and to the fast reactions of these top track professionals that everyone avoided him. Even so, race leader Silvio Martinello was seen to pat his chest to calm his racing heart after this close call!

Sadly, it was announced early on in today's proceedings that local hero and crowd favourite Etienne de Wilde was still suffering from bronchitis, and would not compete in the final madison. His partner, Bruno Risi, was teamed up with Robert Sassonne, whose own partner had to withdraw on Friday with a shoulder injury.

There were several exciting races leading up to the main madison, with derny-paced races, flying laps, a couple of elimination races (or Devils, to us Brits!) and a wonderful demonstration by Gerd Dörich of how to ride round the very top of the steep banking, hands off the bars, pretending to be an aeroplane. With 20 other riders lined out behind you, doing Mexican waves.

But the main event today was always going to be the final Madison, a one-hour event with no holds barrred. Going into it, Gilmore/Martinello were on the same lap as second placed Brett Aitken and Scott McGrory (the Olympic Madison champions), but with a significant points lead. So the only way the Aussie boys could win would be by gaining a lap over the leaders.

The Australians' first attack came just 90 seconds into the race, darting off the front of the group to quickly gain a lap, pursued all the way by Gilmore and Martinello. This proved to be the pattern throughout the race - the Australians attacking repeatedly, but with Gilmore and Martinello always having an answer. Then Gilmore and Martinello responded with an attack of their own, rejoining the back of the bunch and riding straight past to go for a second lap, to an immense roar of approval from the appreciative crowd, who know the value of a "doublette" when they see one.

But it got better; just as Gilmore and Martinello rejoined at the end of their second lap gain, the Australians attacked from the front, thinking they would catch these pesky Europeans at a weak moment. No such luck. Gilmore and Martinello simply knuckled down to get straight on with their third successive lap gain, with no break. But as soon as they caught Aitken and McGrory, they all sat up and waited for the bunch.

The sprints, held every 10 laps over the last 50 laps for points, proved almost an anti-climax, with the race already decided. Silvio Martinello (1998) and Matt Gilmore (1997) have both won at Gent before, but this was a particularly sweet victory for Matt Gilmore, representing his first big win since the serious crash in Herning 2 years ago that nearly finished his career.

Gilmore lives in Gent, and a huge roar of approval went up when he won. The Belgian spectators were delighted to see "their" man back at the top of the field, and many experienced six-day watchers from further afield also had big smiles on their faces (born in Gent of an English mother and Australian father, Matt has a big following in Britan - and the Brits were out in force in the crowd at Gent).



Classement Sprint: 6 x 10 laps

1 Scott McGrory (Aus)/Brett Aitken (Aus) 	 17 pts
2 Manu L'hoir (Bel)/Gerd Dörich (Ger)		 12
3 Frank Corvers (Bel)/Adriano Baffi (Ita)	 10
4 Bruno Risi (Swi)/Etienne De Wilde (Bel)	  7
5 Laurenzo Lapage (Bel)/Marco Villa (Ita)	  5
6 Robert Sassone (Fra) alone			  4
7 Luc De Duytsche (Bel)/Tayeb Braikia (Den)	  3
8 Rob Hayles (GBr)/Bradley Wiggins (GBr)	  3
9 Nicky Vermeersch (Bel)/Andreas Beikirch (Ger)	  2
10 Matthew Gilmore (Bel)/Silvio Martinello (Ita)  2
11 Jimmi Madsen (Den)/Kurt Betschart (Swi)	  1
12 Robert Slippens (Ned)/Danny Stam (Ned)	  0

Teams Elimination Race:

1 Matthew Gilmore (Bel)/Silvio Martinello (Ita)	
2 Scott McGrory (Aus)/Brett Aitken (Aus)
3 Robert Slippens (Ned)/Danny Stam (Ned)
4 Laurenzo Lapage (Bel)/Marco Villa (Ita)	
5 Frank Corvers (Bel)/Adriano Baffi (Ita)	
6 Luc De Duytsche (Bel)/Tayeb Braikia (Den)	
7 Rob Hayles (GBr)/Bradley Wiggins (GBr)	
8 Jimmi Madsen (Den)/Kurt Betschart (Swi)	
9 Manu L'hoir (Bel)/Gerd Dörich (Ger)		

*Etienne De Wilde retired from the race at this point, suffering from
illness. A new team was formed: Bruno Risi (Swi)/Robert Sassone (Fra).
The team started at 5 laps behind, with 256 points.

Time trial (500 m):

1 Scott McGrory (Aus)/Brett Aitken (Aus) 	 28.80
2 Matthew Gilmore (Bel)/Silvio Martinello (Ita)	 28.86
3 Rob Hayles (GBr)/Bradley Wiggins (GBr)	 29.02
4 Frank Corvers (Bel)/Adriano Baffi (Ita)	 29.33
5 Luc De Duytsche (Bel)/Tayeb Braikia (Den)	 29.35
6 Bruno Risi (Swi)/Robert Sassone (Fra)	 	 29.57
7 Manu L'hoir (Bel)/Gerd Dörich (Ger)		 29.84
8 Robert Slippens (Ned)/Danny Stam (Ned)	 29.95
9 Nicky Vermeersch (Bel)/Andreas Beikirch (Ger)	 30.02
10 Jimmi Madsen (Den)/Kurt Betschart (Swi)	 30.94
11 Laurenzo Lapage (Bel)/Marco Villa (Ita)	 31.78

Derny (Teams 1-6):

1 Bruno Risi (Swi)
2 Matthew Gilmore (Bel)
3 Jimmi Madsen (Den)
4 Lorenzo Lapage (Bel)
5 Scott McGrory (Aus)
6 Frank Corvers (Bel)

Elimination race:

1 Robert Sassone (Fra)
2 Manu Lhoir (Bel)
3 Rob Hayles (GBr)
4 Robert Slippens (Ned) 
5 Andreas Beikirch (Ger)
6 Marco Villa (Ita)
7 Silvio Martinello (Ita)
8 Brett Aitken (Aus)
9 Kurt Betschart (Swi)
10 Adriano Baffi (Ita)
11 Luc De Duytsche (Bel)

Derny (Teams 7-12):

1 Nicky Vermeersch (Bel)
2 Tayeb Braikia (Den)
3 Bradley Wiggins (GBr)
4 Danny Stam (Ned)
5 Manu Lhoir (Bel)


1 Robert Slippens (Ned)
2 Luc De duytsche (Bel)
3 Rob Hayles (GBr)
4 Frank Corvers (Bel)
5 Bruno Risi (Swi)

Madison (60 minutes):

1 Matthew Gilmore (Bel)/Silvio Martinello (Ita)	 32 pts

1 lap behind:

2 Scott McGrory (Aus)/Brett Aitken (Aus)	 14

2 laps behind:

3 Bruno Risi (Swi)/Robert Sassone (Fra)		 22
4 Frank Corvers (Bel)/Adriano Baffi (Ita)	 10
5 Laurenzo Lapage (Bel)/Marco Villa (Ita)	  2

3 laps behind: 

6 Nicky Vermeersch (Bel)/Andreas Beikirch (Ger)   4

4 laps behind:

7 Robert Slippens (Ned)/Danny Stam (Ned)	 10
8 Manu L'hoir (Bel)/Gerd Dörich (Ger)		  2

5 laps behind:

9 Rob Hayles (GBr)/Bradley Wiggins (GBr)	  6
10 Jimmi Madsen (Den)/Kurt Betschart (Swi)	  2

6 laps behind:

11 Luc De Duytsche (Bel)/Tayeb Braikia (Den)	  4

Final standings after night 6:

1 Matthew Gilmore (Bel)/Silvio Martinello (Ita)  522 pts

1 lap behind

2 Scott McGrory (Aus)/Brett Aitken (Aus)	 429

3 laps behind

3 Frank Corvers (Bel)/Adriano Baffi (Ita)	 317

5 laps behind

4 Bruno Risi (Swi)/Robert Sassone (Fra)	 	 322

6 laps behind

5 Laurenzo Lapage (Bel)/Marco Villa (Ita)	 221

13 laps behind

6 Robert Slippens (Ned)/Danny Stam (Ned)	 267
7 Jimmi Madsen (Den)/Kurt Betschart (Swi)	 155

30 laps behind

8 Rob Hayles (GBr)/Bradley Wiggins (GBr)	 235
9 Nicky Vermeersch (Bel)/Andreas Beikirch (Ger)	 180

33 laps behind

10 Manu L'hoir (Bel)/Gerd Dörich (Ger)	 	 113

49 laps behind

11 Luc De Duytsche (Bel)/Tayeb Braikia (Den)	 286

35th Six Days of the Future

Madison (300 laps with 6 sprints):

1 Benoït Geneauzeau/Julien Tejada (Fra)	 	  10 pts
2 Patrick Kraus/Patrik Fäh (Swi)		   9

1 lap behind:

3 Iljo Keisse (Bel)/David Hubschwerlin (Fra)	  18
4 Martin Liska/Jozef Zabka (Svk)	 	  18
5 Daniel Palicki/Oliver Riesenbeck (Ger)	  10
6 Wim Beirnaert/Bjorn Nachtergaele (Bel)	   4

2 laps behind:

7 Patrick Van Hoolandt (Bel)/Russel Downing (GBr) 10
8 Bart Marien (Bel)/Ryan Miller (USA)	 	   0

Final standings after night 6:

1 Daniel Palicki/Oliver Riesenbeck (Ger)	  49 pts

1 lap behind:

2 Martin Liska/Jozef Zabka (Svk)		 130
3 Iljo Keisse (Bel)/David Hubschwerlin (Fra)	  77
4 Patrick Kraus/Patrik Fäh (Swi)		  50
5 Benoït Geneauzeau/Julien Tejada (Fra)		  30

2 laps behind:

6 Bart Marien (Bel)/Ryan Miller (USA)	 	  15

3 laps behind:

7 Patrick Van Hoolandt (Bel)/Russel Downing (GBr) 28

18 laps behind:

8 Wim Beirnaert/Bjorn Nachtergaele (Bel)	  17