Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Mark Cavendish and Iljo Keisse waited until the perfect moment to launch a flurry of attacks in the final Madison event of 6-Tagerennen Zürich on Saturday, gaining an advantage within the last few laps to clinch the victory!
Cavendish and Keisse dominated the final laps so much that Keisse had brief moments to bunny hop. But the overall victory was far from easy, as the duo went into the final Madison down 8 points on Jasper De Buyst and Kenny De Ketele. They then had to chase back some earlier laps gained by Silvan Dillier and Leif Lampater, and again when Dillier and Lampater continued their offensive after the first sprint. But the Manx Missile and Keisse were able to take a lap themselves, and then with 6 laps to go they kept up their effort to see if they could take enough points for victory. They were successful, as Dillier and Lampater were the only team to finish on the same lap as the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step duo, but with not enough points to remove Cavendish and Keisse from the top step of the podium.
Congratulations Mark and Iljo! This is the 68th victory, in three disciplines, for Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team in 2014.
"Of course I am happy about this victory at 6-Days Zurich," Cavendish said. "It wasn't easy to compete with Lampater and especially Dillier, who is a local guy and was really going for it in the end. But we got the win and I'm proud of what we did at the end of a really difficult Madison. It's my first 6-Days victory, so it's great to have another career milestone. But I'm also happy for Iljo, who is such a talent on the track and he is also a wonderful teammate. At 6-Days Gent we were learned a lot about each other, and how to best use what we each can do to our advantage. That we were able to win a 6-Days after our second try shows our chemistry. I am super happy about this, because it also shows I am in good condition. To get these kind of kilometers every night, at race intensity, is really important for my build up to next season, so this was a good choice for me. To get a victory to complement this kind of winter preparation is really a bonus. Now I'll spend a week at home, and then join my entire team at training camp in Spain. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and getting ready for the 2015 season after getting into a nice winter rhythm on the track."
6-Tagerennen Zürich FINAL
1. Keisse/Cavendish 245 points
2 Lampater/Dillier 224
3 De Buyst/De Ketele 250 +1 lap
4. Marguet/Kalz 233 +1 lap
5. Torres/Muntaner 164 + 1 lap
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Mark Cavendish and Iljo Keisse are still 2nd, but are on the heels of the overall leaders, thanks to a strong 3rd day of 6-Tagerennen Zürich on Friday!
Thanks to a win in the 2nd Derny Race, as well as the final Madison, Cavendish and Keisse are in 2nd, but are on the same lap with the same points as leaders Jasper De Buyst and Kenny De Ketele. Three teams are on the same lap going into the 4th day!
6-Tagerennen Zürich Day 3
1 De Ketele / De Buyst Haba 0 180
2 Cavendish / Keisse trioverde.ch 0 180
3 Dillier / Lampater Lerch&Partner 0 173
4 Muntaner / Torres Skoda 1 164
5 Rasmussen / Hester Mapei Tevag 1 153
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Mark Cavendish and Iljo Keisse led 6-Tagerennen Zürich by points after the first day on Wednesday, but they took a step down on the podium in day two despite a couple strong events, including winning the first and second Derny Races.
Cavendish and Keisse will try to put themselves back in the lead on Friday, for Day 3.
6-Tagerennen Zürich Day 2
1 Dillier / Lampater Lerch&Partner 0 118
2 Cavendish / Keisse trioverde.ch 1 129
3 De Ketele / De Buyst Haba 1 124
4 Rasmussen / Hester Mapei Tevag 1 112
5 Muntaner / Torres Skoda 1 105
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Mark Cavendish and Iljo Keisse lead the first day of 6-Tagerennen Zürich after racking up points on Wednesday.
The duo collected 74 points, and are one of three teams on the same lap thanks to good performances in multiple events, highlighted by an important win in the Team Elimination.
Keisse and Cavendish will look to defend their lead on Thursday night, which is Day 2!
6-Tagerennen Zürich Day 1
1. Keisse/Cavendish (GBr) 74
2. Dillier/Lampater (Zwi/Dui) 60
3. Muntaner/Torres (Spa) 47
4. De Buyst/De Ketele 62 + 1
5. Marguet/Kalz (Zwi/Dui) 53 +1
With 2014 nearing its end, and 67 overall OPQS victories (64 road, 1 cyclocross, 2 track), it is time to recap the best 10 moments of the season. While it was difficult to pick just 10 out of a highly successful year, these moments certainly stood out and deserve special mention.
Our third best moment from 2014 was Rigoberto Uran's victory in the individual time trial at the Giro d'Italia.
That day Rigoberto earned his place in cycling history by becoming the first Colombian ever to wear the leader's pink jersey after a fantastic performance.
"We had prepared for this time trial very well," recounts Uran. "A few months earlier we had come to get a look at the route with technicians from Specialized and my sport director Davide Bramati. At the time we also put a lot of work into what materials to use and in choosing the gears. The day of the race everything was perfect. We had studied the course down to the last detail. The route was entirely suited to my skills. It was one of the best days of my professional life, without a doubt."
Thanks to his victory in the time trial from Barbaresco to Barolo, and a series of strong performances in the last week of the race, Uran made it all the way to the second step on the podium on the final day in Trieste.
"That day was very exciting," continues the Colombian. "The square was packed with Colombian fans that came to Trieste to celebrate Quintana's victory and my second place. Those moments are unforgettable, as were the hundreds of supportive messages I received during the race."
Uran also established a record for team Omega Pharma - Quick-Step by becoming the first athlete on the team to make it to the podium in a major Tour.
"This Giro is going to stay in my memory for a long time," Uran said. "Once again I want to thank the guys who supported me during the race and the staff that held us together in the difficult times. In 3 weeks of racing, harmony among the team was of the utmost importance. And this team was exceptional for the entire race!!"