Omega Pharma-QuickStep teammate would welcome participation
Mark Cavendish could ride the Ghent Six next month as the partner of Omega Pharma-QuickStep teammate Iljo Keisse, according to a report in Het Nieuwsblad.
Cavendish previously participated in the Ghent Six in 2007, when he partnered Bradley Wiggins, but he has raced on the famous velodrome as recently as last month, when he lined up in the scratch race and the Madison at the International Belgian Open.
It was Cavendish’s first outing with the British track team since the 2009 world championships and it marked the beginning of his bid to race on the track at the 2016 Olympic Games, as he scored the qualifying points necessary to compete in a round of the World Cup this winter.
Keisse claimed his fifth victory at the Ghent Six last year in the company of Glenn O’Shea. While he was enthusiastic about the prospect of lining up alongside Cavendish from November 19-24, he stressed that no decision has yet been made on the Manxman’s participation.
Last year, Bradley Wiggins voiced his desire to race in the Ghent Six but organiser Patrick Sercu admitted that he did not have the budget necessary to secure the Briton’s participation.
“I don’t know if it will happen. It would be nice but it’s not a must for me,” Keisse told Het Nieuwsblad. “I don’t want Mark’s season to be overloaded. If he wants to participate, it makes sense that I ride with him. But if Mark does not come, then I’ll find someone else.”
Keisse will begin his Six Day campaign in Grenoble on October 23, just ten days after finishing his road season at Paris-Tours. “That’s no problem. I’ll take two or three days off the bike now,” he said. “Six-day races are a very different effort and I see it as the ideal way to spend the winter.”
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