Steve Schets is Belgium’s solution to the injured Iljo Keisse. The workload will be heavier for the rest of the male cyclists in the Belgian team. A reshuffle will be done when they compete at this week’s World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Due to a broken collarbone, Keisse was ruled out of the championships. The Quick Step rider experienced a training crash over at the Ballerup Arena, Copenhagen. He was also planning to race the point and scratch races and the Madison.
Ingmar De Poortere will be racing for the points race. Schets will be partnered with him in the Madison. For the scratch race, Tim Merterns will cover Keisse’s slot. De Poortere will still be racing the men’s 4000 metre individual pursuit.
Keisse was sad and disappointed over what happened since he was looking forward to competing at the World Championships. He describes the unfortunate incident, “I was on Jonathan Dufrasne’s wheel and we were pedalling at over 60km/h when all of a sudden he fell. We were going too fast and there was nothing I could do to avoid the crash. I knew right away my collarbone was broken.”
Jos Smets, sports director of the Belgian Cycling Federation, shares that the team remains motivated even after the loss of Keisse and Dominique Cornu’s withdrawal for recovery from his illness. “It’s not ideal, but it’s better now that before the Olympics, for example. The athletes know what they have to do and realise that this is a part of sport.”