Lotto 6-Days Flanders-Gent: Cavendish and Keisse Meet with the Media!
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Mark Cavendish and Iljo Keisse met with the media after the final day of training before Lotto 6-Days Flanders-Gent begins on Tuesday, the 18th of November. Below are some comments by the duo at the press conference on Monday.
On how he feels the night before 6-Days Flanders-Gent
"I'm very relaxed right now compared to something like the Tour de France," Cavendish said. "At the Tour de France your whole season is built on it. I'm not sure what to expect at my first Six-Days in seven years. So, it's more anticipation to see where I am. Ask me after the first night and I can tell you about my nerves. But right now I just want to see how it goes."
On Track and Road Comparisons
"This is similar to a one week stage race, except you race at night instead of during the day," Cavendish said."You sleep a little bit longer and then kill time before it. It's a bit more relaxed here at the track."
On the Short Track
"Standard Olympic track is 250 meters, and this is 166, so it's a fair bit smaller," Cavendish said. "The G-Forces you experience on a short track like this is like nothing you experience on a big track. You really sink into the bankings, and it throws you out. It's quite physical on the upper body as well as the lower body. It's difficult to ride but that's what makes it quite spectacular. "
On his condition
"I trained, obviously I'm not in my July form but I'm trained well for here," Cavendish said. "I'm completely recovered from my injury at the Tour de France and I did everything I could to be in the best condition possible for this race. For next season it makes sense to start my winter a little early on the track. If I didn't think I was in good enough shape I wouldn't be here, out of respect for my team, myself, the fans, and the race. I want to do well again. It's the home 6-Days for Omega Pharma – Quick-Step and also for Iljo. Iljo works so hard for me on the road, so it's an honor for me to race here and do anything less than my best with the best condition possible for Gent 6-Days. It's a special atmosphere here. Great riders have raced here, all the good track riders are here. Here in Gent, all the focus is on the bike race instead of all the festivities around the racing. I'm super proud to participate."
On Racing with Iljo at his home race after the road season
"My last 6-Days was in Gent 7 years ago," Cavendish said. "It's been a long time. I'm excited, and I have the best partner to race this with. I'm just anticipating tomorrow. It makes sense to ride here with my teammate, and my friend, and to do my best for a good result."
On his feelings prior to the start of his home race
"It's always really nervous the first night," Keisse. "For me the first night, you can't win it that night, but you can lose it. That's why it's so important. Once you get through the first night everything else gets easier. Everyone knows their place a little bit and the young guys aren't so nervous anymore. Everyone gets their nerves out of the way."
On Racing with Cavendish on the Track
"I'm happy that I can race with Cav in two different disciplines," Keisse said. "We worked hard to get ready for this race, and I think with my experience and success at 6-Days Gent, and with the obvious speed of Cav, it will be a really good combination. I'm looking forward to see what we can do starting tomorrow."