Gilbert will go head-to-head in a 3km individual pursuit against compatriot and fellow road professional Gianni Meersman (Lotto Belisol) on the opening night, Tuesday, November 20. Gilbert took part in a similar race in 2011 in which he prevailed against Jurgen Roelandts.
"We can not dream better than a Belgian world champion to open our Six Days," said race organiser Patrick Sercu. "Philippe has already been able to enjoy the atmosphere here last year and it has clearly pleased him. Ghent gets to see for the first time the rainbow jersey in action on our soil - a perfect start for our 90th anniversary edition."
The 2012 Ghent Six Days takes place November 20-25 at the legendary Kuipke velodrome in Ghent, Belgium.