The Gent Six Day opened Monday night in Belgium, with four-time winner Eddy Merckx on hand to greet the racers and help start the proceedings.
The race, which dates back to 1922, takes place November 17-22 in the legendary 'Kuipke' cycling stadium on the steeply banked 166.66m wooden track.
Lotto Soudal's Jasper De Buyst, who won the race in 2013 with Leif Lampater and in 2014 with Kenny De Ketele, returned this year with fellow Belgian Otto Vergaerde. De Ketele, meanwhile, started with Gijs Van Hoecke. Five-time Gent winner Iljo Keisse (Etixx-QuickStep) was back with new six-day teammate Michael Morkov (Tinkoff-Saxo).
The women's omnium begins on Friday.