The Omega Pharma-QuickStep pair trailed their conquerors in Ghent, Jasper De Buyst and Kenny De Ketele, by eight points ahead of the final Madison on the fourth and final night of racing. They fell a lap behind the leaders early on in the Madison before beginning their fight back in earnest.
After drawing level with De Buyst and De Ketele, Cavendish and Keisse then faced an additional challenge from Silvan Dillier and Leif Lampater, who stole a lap clear following the first sprint.
Cavendish and Keisse were not to be denied, however. They gained a lap in a tense finale to move ahead of De Buyst and De Ketele and make up the ground on Dillier and Lampater. They then continued to score points in the closing laps of the race to seal victory in the Zurich Six.
Keisse and Cavendish finished the event 21 points clear of Lampater and Dillier, while De Buyst and De Ketele had to settle for third place, one lap down on the winners.
Cavendish will return to the road next week for Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s first training camp of the off-season in Spain. The Manxman is due to begin his 2015 season at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina on January 19.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mark Cavendish (GBr) / Iljo Keisse (Bel) trioverde.ch||245||pts|
|2||Silvan Dillier (Swi) / Leif Lampater (Ger) Lerch&Partner||224|
|3||Kenny De Ketele (Bel) / Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Haba||250 (+1 lap)|
|4||Tristan Marguet (Swi) / Marcel Kalz (Ger) Samsung||233 (+1 lap)|
|5||David Muntaner (Spa) / Alberto Torres (Spa) Skoda||214 (+1 lap)|