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Cavendish and Keisse in position to pounce as Ghys and De Ketele take Gent Six lead

Iljo Keisse and teammate Mark Cavendish in full flight at the 2019 Gent Six
Iljo Keisse and teammate Mark Cavendish in full flight at the 2019 Gent Six (Image credit: Getty Images)

The top of the standings after day 3 of the 2019 Gent Six Day couldn't be much closer as Belgian pair Kenny De Ketele and Robbe Ghys took the overall lead on Thursday night, with Dutch duo Jan-Willem Van Schip and Yoeri Havik just a point behind them.

Crowd favourites Mark Cavendish and Iljo Keisse remain in fifth overall, but are now just 24 points off the lead, and one of five pairs who are on the same lap as the leaders, all separated by just 57 points at the half-way mark of the Belgian event.

De Ketele and Ghys took the lead after the evening's first Madison event, while Cavendish and Keisse kept themselves well in the hunt by each winning races, with first the British sprinter winning the second points race of the evening, and later Keisse taking victory in the second Derny race.

Meanwhile, the condition of Gerben Thijssen – who had a serious crash on the opening night of this year's Gent Six and was rushed straight to hospital – is said to be much improved.

Thijssen's teammate Moreno De Pauw told Het Nieuwsblad that the 21-year-old wasn't likely to suffer any long-term effects from the crash, which nevertheless shook up De Pauw and many of those watching.

"I can't get the image of him completely collapsed on the track out of my mind," said De Pauw, who won the 2017 Gent Six partnering De Ketele. "Gerben is also a friend. You know that an accident can always happen, but it's still intense."

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