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Kenny and Yoeri take PruRide Hong Kong

10 March 2019

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Yoeri Havik and Kenny De Ketele are the first-ever PruRide Six Day Hong Kong champions after showing their class all weekend long.

The first-ever field for the event was peppered with promise but Havik, reigning Phynova Six Day London champion and De Ketele who won in Copenhagen continued their superb seasons.

The Hong Kong Velodrome filled up and they raised the volume as the weekend went on, making for a pulsating final night of racing.

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De Ketele and Havik, who won two of their three races together on Day One, chose their battles carefully in Sunday’s early stages and three victories went elsewhere.

The second hour of the session belonged solely to US pair Daniel Holloway and Adrien Hegyvary, who added to his first-ever Six Day win on Day One with two race wins inside an hour.

Team elimination and then time-trial glory went to the Stateside duo who climbed from sixth in the classification to fourth thanks to some expert risk-reward race management.

“It’s day three, everyone’s tired,” said Holloway.

“Our rhythm was very good tonight, we found ourselves in a very good position every time to make pace and make it hard for everyone else.

“You’re thinking all the time in every race, when you’re on your relief you’re thinking about the handslings all the time to make sure you’re in the right spot to take your team-mate out.”

Danish pair Jesper Morkov and Marc Hester mounted a late charge, taking a points race win before pushing Havik in particular all the way in the hour-long Final Chase.

But the Dutchman held on, in the week where he became the most successful-ever Madison rider in the Six Day Series, to be crowned the inaugural overall victors.

Silver went to Austria’s Andreas Muller and Andreas Graf, while the American team claimed a deserved bronze.

The women’s elite racing was all about the Brits, with Neah Evans and Emily Nelson towering above the field to secure gold and silver.

The pair tied up their overall dominance with a perfectly-executed 20km Madison which saw them sweep intermediate sprints and time their late surge to scoop up the race win points too.

Evans, 28, lost out to Nelson in the final scratch but held on to top the general classification by two points – ending on 272 points to her partner’s 270.

“We came out wanting to back up what we’ve done in the last two days and that came off,” said Evans.

“You keep getting more and more confidence from your performances but you always worry about it catching up with you! You wonder whether the big moves are going to come off.

“I’ve been second twice so to actually get on the top step is fantastic. It’s been amazing. To win is just perfect.”

And in the sprinters double world champion Sarah Lee claimed a popular victory and underscored her status as the darling of the Hong Kong Velodrome.

After ending Saturday on four race wins – the second-most ever at the end of Day Two – she wasted no time in imposing herself, winning the 200m time-trial in imperious fashion.

Despite being edged out by Nicky Degrendele, whose world title she inherited in Poland last month, Lee surged back to pip ally Miriam Welte to sprint final and then overall glory.

Meanwhile, Pavel Keleman was peerless among the sprinters, pipping Shane Perkins to overall gold after the pair shared an unmissable battle across the three days.

The Czech clean swept all three time-trials and pulled off back-to-back sprint final wins to cement his triumph, although Perkins prevailed in the closing Keirin to have the final say.

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