Kenny De Ketele and Robbe Ghys have won the 79th edition of the Lotto Six Days of Flanders-Ghent. They Belgian pair beat Jaser De Buyst and Tosh Van der Sande by five points after a thrilling final madison.
On Saturday De Buyst and Van der Sande had taken over the lead from De Ketele and Ghys on the penultimate night. They went into Sunday afternoon’s grand finale with just one point between them, followed by Iljo Keisse and Mark Cavendish on 14 points. Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt were the last duo on the lead lap, trailing by 69 points.
On Sunday Kluge and Reinhardt took a lap to go into the final madison as the leaders. The Germans saw Van der Sande/De Buyst and De Ketele/Ghys equalise by taking a lap of their own, while Keisse and Cavendish couldn’t manage to close the gap in order to stay in contention.
De Ketele/Ghys and De Buyst/Van der Sande went into the final sprint with a difference of just one point. De Ketele defeated De Buyst in a close sprint to secure the overall win in the Kuipke. De Ketele and Ghys amassed 301 points, five more than their fellow Belgians. Kluge and Reinhardt were third a further 84 points behind.
De Ketele and Ghys succeed last year’s winners Iljo Keisse and Elia Viviani. It was a fourth Ghent win for De Ketele after 2017 (with Moreno De Pauw), 2014 (with Jasper De Buyst) and 2011 (with Robert Bartko).
Moreno De Pauw took part is his last Six Days of Ghent. The 28-year-old Belgian is retiring from the sport after this season. De Pauw went out in style by winning the one-lap time-trial and the 500 metres, his specialty. De Pauw still holds the lap record at the Kuipke.
1. Kenny De Ketele/Robbe Ghys (Bel) 301 points
2. Jasper De Buyst/Tosh Van der Sande (Bel) 296
3. Roger Kluge/Theo Reinhardt (Ger) 212
4. Iljo Keisse/Mark Cavendish (Bel/GBr) 268
5. Yoeri Havik/Jan-Willem van Schip (Hol) 299
6. Otto Vergaerde/Jules Hesters (Bel) 211
7. Fabio Van Den Bossche/Marc Hester (Bel/Den) 116
8. Jonas Rickaert/Roy Pieters (Bel/Ned) 111
9. Lindsay De Vylder/Wim Stroetinga (Bel/Hol) 87
10. Morgan Kneisky/Oliver Wulff Frederiksen (Fra/Den) 199
11. Moreno De Pauw/Michele Scartezzini (Bel/Ita) 168