For the first time in the one hundred years’ history of the Lotto Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent, the event has completely sold out even before the start. Starting tomorrow/Tuesday, the Kuipke will have a full house for six days in a row!
At 8pm on Tuesday, the team presentation of the centenary edition of the Lotto Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent will start in the packed Kuipke. Twelve duos will compete for the final victory in various events – madison, points race, time trial, Derny race, supersprint and scratch – for six days. At around 5:30pm on Sunday, we will know who Kenny De Ketele and Robbe Ghys’ successors are.
For many riders, the Three Days of Copenhagen was the dress rehearsal for the Six Days of Ghent. Fabio Van Den Bossche and Lindsay De Vylder were crowned winners in the Danish capital last weekend. So, they are in top form for the Lotto Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent, even though they will ride with different teammates in the Kuipke. Van Den Bossche will form a duo with Dutch World Points Race Champion Yoeri Havik in Ghent, while De Vylder will be the companion of defending Champion Robbe Ghys in Ghent.
Second place in Denmark went to Dane Matias Malmberg (riding with Brent Van Mulders in Ghent) and Jules Hesters (paired with German Tim Torn Teutenberg in Ghent). Dutchmen Philip Heijnen and Vincent Hoppezak were third on the podium in Copenhagen and will also ride together in the Kuipke from Tuesday.
Iljo Keisse and Jasper De Buyst also had a trial run in Denmark. They mainly focused on the team races and finished fifth. They will undoubtedly aim higher in Ghent, although they will also have to deal with the British Omnium World Champion Ethan Hayter and his compatriot Fred Wright, as well as the strong Germans Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt, the reigning European Champions in the team race.
Iljo Keisse starts the 18th and final Lotto Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent of his career on Tuesday. The 39-year-old from Ghent has won the event seven times. Buying tickets to see Keisse live in action in his last Ghent Six Days is no longer possible as all six days of the event are sold out.
But for Merci Iljooo – the farewell party by and for Iljo Keisse on Thursday 24 November in the Kuipke – several hundred tickets are still available. Merci Iljooo will be a full evening show with music, entertainment, footage from the old days, special guests and a spectacular omnium in which Team Belgium will take on Team International. Iljo Keisse himself is of course the leader of Team Belgium. Team International will be spearheaded by World hour record holder Filippo Ganna. The evening concludes with a spectacular afterparty