De Vylder and Ghys Overall Winners after Frenzied Final Madison


For the second year in a row, Lindsay De Vylder and Robbe Ghys have won the Lotto Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent. The riders from East Flanders and Limburg kept their cool in the final Madison and were flanked by Yoeri Havik/Jan-Willem van Schip and Fabio Van den Bossche/Jules Hesters on the podium.

Three teams went into the final day in the same lap. Lindsay De Vylder and Robbe Ghys led with 297 points, followed by Fabio Van den Bossche/Jules Hesters (227 points) and Yoeri Havik/Jan-Willem van Schip (221 points). Oscar Nilsson-Julien/Valentin Tabellion (167 points) and Aaron Gate/Matias Malmberg (146 points) followed in fourth and fifth spots at two laps.

Sunday afternoon at the packed Kuipke began with two points races, won by Lasse Norman Hansen and Aaron Gate. In the subsequent 500-metre time trial, there was again no stopping Tuur Dens, paced by Noah Vandenbranden. De Vylder/Ghys finished fourth in that time trial and the associated eight points lifted them above 300 points in total, giving them a bonus lap. So, that meant a lap ahead of Van den Bossche/Hesters and Havik/van Schip.

The Kuipke enjoyed the spectacle and saw how De Vylder (Derny), Van den Bossche (Derny), Theo Reinhardt (individual elimination), Van den Bossche/Hesters (team elimination) and Vandenbranden/Dens (track lap) scored fine victories, but at the same time everyone was obviously waiting with bated breath for the final Madison, in which the 82nd edition of the Lotto Six Days of Flanders-Ghent would be decided.

Havik/van Schip wasted no time and took an immediate victory lap, bringing them level with De Vylder/Ghys. The attacks followed in quick succession. At one point, there were actually five teams in the same lap, Van den Bossche/Hesters, Nilsson-Julien/Tabellion and Malmberg/Gate in addition to De Vylder/Ghys and Havik/van Schip. However, the latter two teams soon had to loosen their grip.

Nevertheless, Van den Bossche and Hesters, remained in full contention for the overall victory. At one point they were even virtually in the lead when they took another winning lap, but De Vylder and Ghys kept their cool and came alongside again. Even when Havik/van Schip were also virtually in the lead after a winning lap some 15 laps from the end, the defending Champions remained cool. De Vylder and Ghys quickly took back a lap and knew that they had secured victory at that point.

In the end, De Vylder/Ghys made it with 354 points, compared to 245 for Havik/van Schip. Van den Bossche/Hesters completed the podium with 280 points and a lap behind. For duo De Vylder/Ghys, it is the second win in a row in Ghent, for Ghys already the fourth in total, having previously won twice alongside Kenny De Ketele.

Goosebump Moments

“I have thoroughly enjoyed this week,” Ghys said afterwards. “It does come with a lot of stress, but I still very much look forward to riding here every year. I also have to thank Lindsay so much, he was by far the best of the two of us this week,” Ghys, who had only recently recovered from a saddle injury, admitted humbly.

“You are a class act, Robbe,” De Vylder praised his partner. “When you win the Six Days four times in a row, you are a class act. And the crowd was great once again too. I rode around with goosebumps for six days. And do you know what also gave me goosebumps? All those track records set by Tuur Dens in the 500 metres this week. What a juggernaut!”

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