Belgians Kenny De Ketele and Robbe Ghys claimed a thrilling finale to the Gent Six Day on Sunday, with De Ketele winning the final sprint of the last Madison of the race to win the overall title ahead of compatriots Jasper De Buyst and Tosh Van der Sande.
The reigning Madison world champions Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt came into the last race one lap ahead but behind on points, with three teams - De Buyst and Van der Sande, De Ketele and Ghys, and Mark Cavendish and Iljo Keisse - all within 10 points of each other one lap behind.
Keisse and Cavendish hit out first to take a lap and move ahead of the German team in the standings, but Kluge and Reinhardt quickly responded, stealing another lap to move back into the lead. Keisse and Cavendish countered to snatch yet another lap, but then De Buyst and Van der Sande pulled themselves back into contention.
There were so many attacks and changes to the lead, the spectators and commentators struggled to keep up. At the midway point, Kluge and Reinhardt sat atop the standings and there was a brief lull as teams regrouped for the final push. Keisse and Cavendish were again the first to resume hostilities, but this time they were unable to get around.
Ghys kept the pressure on, winning the sprint with 30 laps to go and De Ketele followed 10 laps later to add to the team's tally. But De Buyst put his team back on top by a single point with only the final sprint remaining and four teams on the leading lap.
De Buyst hit out early on the final lap but Ghys slung De Ketele with half a lap to go and the experienced Belgian lunged for the line to take the sprint by a tire's width ahead of De Buyst.
Keisse and Cavendish lost a lap in the chaotic finale and finished off the podium behind the world champions.
Thrilling final!!! @deketelekenny and @robbe_ghys bring home the final victory in the madison :rocket::rocket::rocket: @JasperDeBuyst @Toshvds 2nd #zesdaagsegent #Ghent6Day pic.twitter.com/9rVEQktdKuNovember 17, 2019
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Kenny De Ketele / Robbe Ghys (Bel)||301|
|2||Tosh Van der Sande / Jasper De Buyst (Bel)||296|
|3||Roger Kluge / Theo Reinhardt (Ger)||212|
|4 (-1 lap)||Mark Cavendish / Iljo Keisse (GBr/Bel)||268|
|5 (-2 laps)||Jan-Willem Van Schip/ Yoeri Havik (Ned)||299|
|6 (-3 laps)||Jules Hesters / Otto Vergaerde (Bel)||211|
|7 (-11 laps)||Marc Hester / Fabio Van den Bossche (Den/Bel)||116|
|8 (-17 laps)||Jonas Rickaert / Roy Pieters (Bel/Ned)||111|
|9 (-22 laps)||Lindsay De Vylder / Wim Stroetinga (Bel/Ned)||87|
|10 (-26 laps)||Morgan Kneisky / Oliver Wulff Frederiksen (Fra/Den)||199|
|11 (-32 laps)||Michele Scartezzini / Moreno De Pauw (Ita/Bel)||168|