Robbe Ghys and Lindsay De Vylder have retained their lead in the Lotto Six Days of Flanders-Ghent on night four. They head into the final weekend on the same lap as the duo Fabio Van den Bossche/Yoeri Havik, with the remaining opposition following several laps down.
The fourth day of the Lotto Six Days of Flanders-Ghent is traditionally the point at which only the fittest survive. That proved to be the case again as four tandems went into the sessions on the lead lap and only two remained at the end.
Four in a row for Ghys and De Vylder
Dutchman Jan Willem van Schip settled the first points race of the evening. Dane Matias Malmberg then took home the second points race. A nervy team elimination was called early following a heavy crash involving numerous couples.
In the one-lap time-trial, Lindsay De Vylder and Robbe Ghys again claimed the spotlights. Unbeatable in the shortest discipline of the evening, the duo grabbed victory for the fourth time in a row, although they missed out on a new track record this time. With a time of 8.466 seconds, they remained 0.13s above their best time of Thursday.
King meets Emperor
The following 50-minute madison, the Memorial Patrick Sercu, was kicked off by the greatest of all time: Eddy Merckx. The king of cycling honouring the ’emperor of ’t Kuipke was a touching moment for the enchanted crowd.
The madison thoroughly shuffled the deck at the front of the race. The pairs Hesters/Teutenberg and Keisse/De Buyst crucially dropped off the lead lap compared to their closest rivals. The victory went to Dutch duo Vincent Hoppezak/Philip Heijnen.
Supersprint for Iljo
The daily Iljooo-moment came in the Supersprint, in which the home hero won the final sprint ahead Van Schip and Ethan Hayter.
The two derny heats were won by Ghys and De Buyst, with Jules Hesters taking the scratch.
In the night’s final discipline, a time trial over 500 metres, Van Schip and Tuur ‘Terminator’ Dens made another attack on their own record. The duo shot out of the starting blocks like men possessed and made the crowd dream of a fifth record in four day, but the increasing fatigue got the better of them: Van Schip and Dens ended up two tenths above their best time.
De Vylder and Ghys remain on top after four nights with 237 points. Fabio Van den Bossche/Yoeri Havik (206) is the only duo remaining on the same lap. Jules Hesters/Tim Torn Teutenberg (165) and Iljo Keisse/Jasper De Busyt (123) are two laps in arrears.
Theo Reinhardt was forced to abandon the Six Days on Friday night due to illness. His teammate, fellow German Roger Kluge will complete the remainder of the event alongside Swiss Silvan Dillier. Dillier lost his teammate Stijn Steels on the event’s opening night after a massive crash.
Standings after day 4:
1. De Vylder/Ghys 237, 2. Van den Bossche Havik 206 (0), 3. Hesters/Torn Teutenberg 165 (2), 4. Keisse/De Buyst 123 (2), 5. Hoppezak/Heijnen 172 (4) 6. Hayter/Wright 127 (4), 7. Kluge/Dillier 70 (6), 8. Van Schip/Dens 185 (12), 9. Pollefliet/Vandenbranden 101 (22), 10. Thijssen/Johansen 28 (28), 11. Van Mulders/Malmberg 73 (29)