The new “emperor of ‘t 'Kuipke',” Iljo Keisse after his heavy crash in Paris-Roubaix is home to convalesce. He got there via old-wielerjournalist Roger De Maertelaere to hear that Patrick Sercu has died.
“That was a nasty blow in the face. I knew Patrick very well. From an early age, though actually. He was just my manager and then my race director in many six-day cycle races”, says an excited Iljo Keisse. “I watched as a small rennertje certainly up to him. Check out his palmares. Immense is that. He won a pack of six-day cycle races, some Belgian - and world titles, in addition to an olympic title. Phenomenal.”
Sercu, when the emerging talent Keisse at the time ‘t 'Kuipke' to good riders. It was the start of what would become a career for the Gentenaar. “Without Patrick Sercu had my career to have a very different look. I had the privilege to be in the six-day cycle races with good talented riders to the races. In 2005 with Matthew Gilmore, then with Robert Bartko and so on. Of course I have in those victories also my part, but I got from Patrick Sercu, however, a serious push in my back. That I will never forget. I also had a good relationship with his son Christophe, who the work of his father, took over. It hurts to hear that Patrick is no longer there. To him I have no doubt a part of my career to thank.”