|November 19th-24th 2002|
The 2002 Ghent Six-day bike race got off to a cracking start, with several teams right up there on the same lap. And we have some interesting pairings this year, too: Britain's Bradley Wiggins is riding with Belgium's Matt Gilmore (the first time this pair has raced together), proving that nationality is a funny old thing... both these guys were born in Ghent, and one grew up in Australia while the other grew up in England. Then we have former sprinter and keirin champion Marty Nothstein, riding with Danish strongman Jimmi Madsen. Fat Nick saw these two racing together in the Amsterdam Six, and they are definitely an up-and-coming pair for the six-day scene.
Meantime, both Silvio Martinello and Adriano Baffi will be bowing out of six-day racing later on this season, and both will be keen to leave on a high note. And then we have a whole host of new, up-and-coming riders eager to make an impression (money on the flying Dutch duo of Robert Slippens and Danny Stam, anyone?). Oh, and I nearly forgot: Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart are probably hungry for a win, too. Throw in a few Belgian beers (for the spectators, anyway!), a nice tight 170 meter track, and oodles of atmosphere, and you can see why Fat Nick has been looking forward to this race. You can see photos of all these guys on my Amsterdam and Grenoble links, below.
By the second night, things were taking shape. Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart, twice winners in Ghent, have remembered that it is six years since they last won here, and moved into the race lead. But Slippens and Stam are using their track speed to stay right up there with the Swiss aces, too. Meantime, one lap down we have Madsen and Nothstein, whilst Matt Gilmore and Brad Wiggins are also one lap down, but due to get a bonus lap as soon as they pass the 100 points mark, which will move them into the same lap as the leaders. Fat Nick reckons that Gilmore / Wiggins will get better as the race progresses, as they get used to riding with each other. Watch this space, folks - it's gonna be a good one this year!
See Fat Nick's photos from the 2002 Amsterdam Six
See Fat Nick's photos from the 2002 Grenoble Six-Day race
1 Bruno Risi (Swi)/Kurt Betschart (Swi) 111 points 2 Robert Slippens (Ned)/Danny Stam (Ned) 104
1 lap behind 3 Jimmi Madsen (Den)/Marty Nothstein (USA) 127 4 Matthew Gilmore (Bel)/Bradley Wiggins (Gbr) 95 5 Silvio Martinello (Ita)/Marco Villa (Ita) 75 6 Andreas Kappes (Ger)/Andreas Beikirch (Ger) 47
3 laps behind 7 Laurenzo Lapage (Bel)/Adriano Baffi (Ita) 60 8 Steven De Neef (Bel)/Gerd Dörich (Ger) 22
4 laps behind 9 Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)/Franco Marvulli (Swi) 93
9 laps behind 10 Jimmy Hansen (Den)/Matthé Pronk (Ned) 29
10 laps behind 11 Martin Liska (Svk)/Jozef Zabka (Svk) 18
12 laps behind 12 Wouter Van Mechelen (Bel)/Franz Stocher (Aut) 34
14 laps behind 13 Iljo Keisse (Bel)/Jean-Pierre Van Zyl (RSA) 59
For day-by-day results while Fat Nick is in Ghent, keep an eye on www.cyclingnews.com.
And while you're here, why not have a look at some photos of previous years' cycle racing action from the Ghent Six?
Not sure what all the excitement is about? Read Dee Dee Scadron's account of her trip to the Ghent Six.
Do you have any news about the Grenoble Six? Because of spamming, I don't publish my e-mail address here. But heck, my name is Nick, and the domain name is fatnick.com, so you can probably work out how to contact me <g>.
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