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Havik, Stopler regain Rotterdam lead; Hoy tops sprinters

  • By José Been
  • Published Jan. 7, 2013
  • Updated Jan. 7, 2013 at 11:41 AM EST

After four days of racing at the Rotterdam Six, six pairs are within the same lap, with Yoeri Havik and Nick Stöpler regaining the lead on Sunday. Sir Chris Hoy leads the sprinters’ tournament with two nights remaining.

Michael Mørkøv and Pim Ligthart, Iljo Keisse and Niki Terpstra and Wim Stroetinga and Peter Schep are within 10 points of the leaders with two nights of racing remaining.

“We did put some of our cards on the table already,” Stöpler said. “The others still have got something up their sleeve so I am curious to see what the others will show in the final two days.”

Two Madison races of 120 laps decided the overall leaderboard after Sunday. The first race was a big success for Havik and Stöpler, Robert Bartko and Sylvan Dillier, and the world Madison champions Kenny de Ketele and Gijs van Hoecke, who all took a lap. In the second Madison, at the end of the program, the results were reversed when Keisse and Terpstra, Ligthart and Mørkøv, and Stroetinga and Schep each took the lost lap back.

With six pairs on the same lap, the final super sprint event decided who would take the leaders’ honor lap after day four. Stöpler topped Keisse in the final sprint and Mørkøv jumped to the top of the ranking.

“I didn’t expect Nick to win that sprint,” said Mørkøv’s partner, Havik. “We usually try to take over at one-and-a-half laps from the finish so I can do the sprint, but it was Nick who ended up doing the final lap.”

“And I felt so good that I could sprint myself. And won it too,” Stöpler added.

Ligthart and Mørkøv continued to rise in the overall classification. Mørkøv had the victory in the super sprint in sight when he took 40 meters on the bunch with three laps to go, but Terpstra and Havik closed the gap for their teammates to finish it off on the line.

“We are doing well with points and we are taking laps,” said Ligthart. “There is still two days to go so everything can still happen. I am here to win, just like Michael and I did in Amsterdam. It’s going to be difficult, but I’d rather be fourth after trying my best to win than be second without trying to go for that number one spot.”

Bauge takes sprint win

In the sprint tournament, Grégory Baugé took his first individual win.

“My form is not great,” the 2012 world champion said. “I didn’t train a lot but spent a lot of time with my family. And I partied, a lot after last summer.”

In August, Baugé lost the Olympic sprint final to Jason Kenny.

“I struggle to find motivation after that [disappointment]. I am only 27 years old though, so I will go on to Rio.” The defending champion declared that the world track championships in Minsk, Belarus, next month come too early and that he will not defend his title.

Chris Hoy holds a four-point lead on his compatriot Kenny in the sprinters’ tournament. The Scotsman won the individual and team sprint (with Teun Mulder) on Sunday. Kenny was victorious in the 200-meter time trial.

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