Iljo Keisse ready for Ghent Six Day defense
The Belgian – who'll ride together with Elia Viviani – will look for another victory at the prestigious event.
Running between 15-20 November, the 2016 Ghent Six Day will see many all-star pairings line up at the start in the legendary 't Kuipke velodrome, a 167m-long track which promises to deliver fireworks next week, when the riders will take on seven different races: points, flying lap time trial, elimination, derny, scratch, 500m time trial and Madison.
Among the teams that will vie for overall glory there will be also the one consisting of defending champion Iljo Keisse and Olympic omnium gold medalist Elia Viviani. For the 33-year-old Etixx – Quick-Step rider, this will be the 14th participation at the Ghent Six Day, which he's won on six occasions (2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015).
Now, Keisse – who's displayed his skills on the track over more than a decade, taking an European title, two World Championships medals and 25 victories in Six Day events throughout his career – is ready to have another go in his home race and try to get the better of his rivals, although the road that lies ahead will be a difficult one.
"It will be great to race in front of my fans, but at the same time I know that it's not going to be easy, because it's my first race of the year on the track and I can't say I have trained specifically for this during the season", said Iljo. "Also, it's going to be for the first time that I team up with Elia, who'll get acquainted with a short track here in Ghent. It will take a little bit of time probably to get into the rhythm of the race and in the first part of the week it will be just a question of surviving, before trying to get the best possible result in the second half of the race."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele