|November 17th-22nd 1998|
Several new photos now uploaded:
Italy's Silvio Martinello and Marco Villa finally scored their first win in the Ghent Six-Day race, leading on points and cancelling out a one-lap advantage held by local hero (and 9 times a winner of the Ghent Six) Etienne de Wilde and his last-minute partner Andreas Kappes. De Wilde's regular partner, Matthew Gilmore, is currently out of action due to injuries sustained in a bad crash during the Herning Six in October.
De Wilde and Kappes tried valiantly to defend their one-lap lead. At 40 years of age, De Wilde shows no sign of slowing down, and no reduction in his determination to win his local six-day race. Time and again during the final session he launched attacks and gained ground on the bunch, but Kappes found the pace too much, and they had to be content with second place behind Martinello and Villa. Incidentally, this is the first Italian win at the Ghent Six since 1958!
Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart, the top Swiss pairing who won the previous week's six-day in Munich, were both suffering with saddle sores, and had to miss the Madison sessions on Friday evening, although they managed to finish the race. Belgium's Laurenzo Lapage, riding with Germany's Stefan Steinweg, was slightly less fortunate and had to abandon during the very final hour of the race due to ill health.
Britain's Rob Hayles was on good form in Ghent. He found the first few days to be hard going, but by Saturday he had settled in well and was taking laps with the best of them during the Madison session, before going on to win the last Derny race of the evening. Rob is a big lad, with long, powerful legs and a good turn of speed, but he is also becoming very tactically astute and learning to read a race well. The only thing better than having lots of power on tap is knowing when to use it!
The revelation of the race was the new pairing of German-based Australian Scott McGrory and Belgium's Frank Corvers, who work really well together. Scott is on really good form this year, and was right in the thick of the action during the Madisons, and they were contenders for overall victory right into the final session. Watch out for these two in future "sixes".
Further down the field, Swiss riders Christian Weber and Alexander Aeschbach, who won the amateur six in Ghent last year, also made a very favourable impression. These lads have power, speed and the ability to read a race, and we'll definitely be hearing more about them in due course.
Some good news for all the six-day fans who keep asking how Matt Gilmore, winner of last year's Ghent Six, is progressing after his crash at Herning. Matt contacted Fat Nick earlier this week to say he's doing well. Matt has been discharged from hospital and is back at his home in Ghent, feeling a bit worse for wear but very gently riding his turbo trainer for a few minutes each day. Matt put in a couple of appearances in the track centre at Ghent, visiting the riders in their cabins and generally behaving like a spectator (which involves drinking lots of beer and shouting "Come on Etienne!"). The doctors have told Matt that, in time, he should be able to make a full recovery and race at top level again - and he certainly has the necessary determination.
1. Silvio Martinello (Ita) - Marco Villa (Ita) 508 points
2. Etienne De Wilde (Bel) - Andreas Kappes (Ger) 463 points
3. Jimmy Madsen (Den) - Tayeb Braika (Den) 425 points
4. Frank Corvers (Bel) - Scott McGrory (Aus) 482 points (+1 lap)
5. Adriano Baffi (Ita) - Andrea Colinelli (Ita) 423 points (+1 lap)
6. Bruno Risi (Swi) - Kurt Betschart (Swi) 255 points (+5 laps)
7. Paul Van Hyfte (Bel) - Andreas Beikirch (Ger) 242 points (+19 laps)
8. Rik Van Slycke (Bel) - Rob Hayles (Gbr) 236 points (+24 laps)
9. Christian Weber (Swi) - Alexander Aeschbach (Swi)
10. Carsten Wolf (Ger) - Bart Heirewegh (Bel) 140 points (+43 laps)
11. Danny Baeyens (Bel) - Steven De Neef (Bel) 157 points (+45 laps)
To find out how to book tickets for the Ghent Six, check out Roger Hughes' booking info. 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 last year's Ghent Six.
Do you have any news about the Ghent Six? Drop an e-mail to if you do, or send him a fax at 0044 161 476 2914 - Fat Nick reads Dutch (badly, and with a German accent, maar.....), so grotty photocopies of results sheets and local newspapers are gratefully received!
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