Belgians Dimitri De Fauw and Iljo Keisse give their thoughts after the tragic death of Issac G lvez
The death of Isaac G lvez during the Ghent Six over the weekend has been met with sadness and shock by the cycling community. G lvez crashed into a barrier during the final Madison on Saturday night, and died en route to hospital. His death reportedly resulted from massive internal bleeding after the impact damaged his heart. His body is likely to be repatriated to Spain on Tuesday or Wednesday, following an autopsy. The other rider involved in the accident, Dimitri De Fauw, had to be taken to the UZ Gent hospital to be treated for shock. “Emotionally, I’m a wreck,” he was quoted by Sportwereld as saying. “I have to go on.” De Fauw took it hard: “I was already back at the Kuipke [Ghent track] before noon on Sunday to talk with Patrick Sercu, with organiser Discart, with Robert D’Hont, my soigneur. They assured me that it wasn’t my fault. Same with the people from the judiciary, who let me tell my story. You’re not guilty.But still, in your head you imagine things that aren’t there. How do I deal with this?” Up until the tragic accident, De Fauw’s friend Iljo Keisse was leading the Ghent Six with Robert Bartko, with G lvez and Llaneras in second position overall. De Fauw had done well for himself over the previous five nights and was looking forward to the end. “It would have been a party,” he said. “Iljo winning or at least on the podium. Me with my lap record, seven thousand going away happy each day. Until suddenly, bang. And everything went dark.” De Fauw described what happened. “I sat maybe in fourth or fifth position in the field,” he explained. “Iljo Keisse had just attacked. We came out of the bend onto the finish straight when there was a wave in the peloton. I saw nothing, I heard nothing, but suddenly there was G lvez, who started to chase Iljo behind me. I didn’t see him coming. We hooked our handlebars together and were thrown to the top of the track. It all happened in a fraction of a second.” Keisse: “No winners” The final night of the Ghent Six was cancelled out of respect for G lvez and his family, meaning that Iljo Keisse and Robert Bartko were officially declared the winners. “We are on the palmares, but that’s all,” Keisse was quoted as saying. “It means absolutely nothing. My dream became a nightmare. Sunday evening could have been one of the most beautiful days of my career. After five days of strong performances, I was ready to crown the work to win the Ghent Six for the second time in a row. No, this edition has no winners. Only losers. “I didn’t have a lot of contact with Isaac. He was quiet, even introverted. This world is really so small that we are not just colleagues, but also friends.” 50 years after Ockers Cycling deaths on the track are not common. G lvez died 50 years after Belgian Stan Ockers, who passed away two days after crashing in Antwerp’s Sportpaleis on September 29, 1956. Ockers was an accomplished pro, winning major road races such as the World Championship in 1955 and Fleche Wallonne in 1953 and 1955. He also held the world hour record on the track for a time and won the Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels Six Day events.