From 13 until 18 November, all eyes of cycling loving Belgium (and many other countries) are on Het Kuipke for the 78th edition of the Lotto Six Days of Flanders-Ghent. Once again, the organisation managed to bring some world class track cyclist to Het Kuipke. The city of Ghent has invested in comfort and safety, and in the meantime the track is being prepared for the race.
For the 78th time the epicentre of Ghent will move temporarily to the mythical Kuipke. After six days of racing we will know the successors of Kenny De Ketele and Moreno De Pauw. De Ketele will defend his title, but this year he will team up with Robbe Ghys. Together they became European champion madison in Glasgow last summer. But the competition is going to be huge as World champions Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt want to shine in their rainbow jerseys.
Local boy and crowd’s favourite Iljo Keisse will team up with his Quick-Step Floors buddy Elia Viviani, Olympic champion omnium. The Italian national champion was good for 18 wins this season, including stages in Giro and Vuelta, so he dominated the 2018 season. Two-time winner Jasper De Buyst was the first big name to confirm for the Lotto Six Days of Flanders-Ghent. He will be going for a third victory and to that end he counts on the support Tosh Van der Sande, his teammate at Lotto Soudal.
Moreno De Pauw, the second laureate of last year, also wants to extend his title. This time he’ll be racing together with youngster Lindsay De Vylder. The strong Dutch tandem Youri Havik and Wim Stroetinga wants to do better than last year’s third place. These six couples are all potential winners, so the crowd in Ghent will be spoiled from the first until the last day.
Also some big names of women’s track cycling will come to Ghent! The Lotto Six Days of Flanders-Ghent will host a two-day race for women, with a points race on Friday and the omnium on Saturday. These names will compete in both events: Kirsten Wild (the Netherlands, world champion in both disciplines) and Jolien D’hoore. Another duel to look out for during the weekend.
COMFORT AND SAFETY FIRST
The city of Ghent is very proud of the Lotto Six Days of Flanders-Ghent. For this edition the city invests in the safety and the comfort of Het Kuipke. “The Six Days of is cultural heritage of our city and that’s something we have to cherish. It makes us proud to be a part of this success story by investing in Het Kuipke, especially to enhance the comfort and the safety of the cyclists and the audience. Therefore we have built a transparent boarding around the central square”, says Resul Tapmaz, Deputy of Sports.
In the meantime the track is being prepared for the race. The wood will receive its yearly refurbishment so the surface is smooth and without splinters. Because of the extreme temperatures this summer there is more work than in other years, so the maintenance works started a little bit earlier than usual to make the track ready in time.