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Gent Six Day opening night - Gallery

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The derny rases the speed to close to 60km/h

The derny rases the speed to close to 60km/h
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse and Michael Morkov in action

Iljo Keisse and Michael Morkov in action
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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 Iljo Keisse (Bel) and Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Iljo Keisse (Bel) and Eddy Merckx (Bel)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The derny race sparked some high-speed racing

The derny race sparked some high-speed racing
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Gent Six is probably the most popular on the winter circuit

The Gent Six is probably the most popular on the winter circuit
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The track centre was packed with spectators

The track centre was packed with spectators
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A view of the Gent velodrome on the opening night

A view of the Gent velodrome on the opening night
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Gent track is tight making for a fast race

The Gent track is tight making for a fast race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Holding the wheel of the derny is vital

Holding the wheel of the derny is vital
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marc Hester is part of team number five

Marc Hester is part of team number five
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jasper De Buyst wears number one

Jasper De Buyst wears number one
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marc Hester has slight lead

Marc Hester has slight lead
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Kenny De Ketele in the derny slipstream

Kenny De Ketele in the derny slipstream
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Gent derny drivers have years of experience

The Gent derny drivers have years of experience
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Kenny De Ketele was flying

Kenny De Ketele was flying
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Markov sits in tight behind his derny

Markov sits in tight behind his derny
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse checks how much skin he lost in the crash

Iljo Keisse checks how much skin he lost in the crash
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Britain's Chris Lawless shows off his beard

Britain's Chris Lawless shows off his beard
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Roy Pieters leads the peloton

Roy Pieters leads the peloton
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Stijn Steels is riding for Topsport Vlaanderen

Stijn Steels is riding for Topsport Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Moreno De Pauw goes on the attack

Moreno De Pauw goes on the attack
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Danish pair Alex Rasmussen and Marc Hester make a change

Danish pair Alex Rasmussen and Marc Hester make a change
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse and Michael Morkov close up

Iljo Keisse and Michael Morkov close up
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse and Michael Morkov are the favourites for overall victory

Iljo Keisse and Michael Morkov are the favourites for overall victory
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tristan Marguet is treated by para-medics

Tristan Marguet is treated by para-medics
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse gets checked out by the para-medics

Iljo Keisse gets checked out by the para-medics
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse needed some time to recover from his crash

Iljo Keisse needed some time to recover from his crash
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tristan Marguet went down hard

Tristan Marguet went down hard
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse was not happy to have crashed on the opening night

Iljo Keisse was not happy to have crashed on the opening night
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Security measurements at Gent Six Day

Security measurements at Gent Six Day
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tristan Marguet (Sui) and Claudio Imhof (Sui)

Tristan Marguet (Sui) and Claudio Imhof (Sui)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alex Rasmussen (Den) and Marc Hester (Den

Alex Rasmussen (Den) and Marc Hester (Den
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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 Iljo Keisse (Bel) and Michael Morkov (Den)

Iljo Keisse (Bel) and Michael Morkov (Den)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Otto Vergaerde (Bel) and Jasper De Buyst (Bel)

Otto Vergaerde (Bel) and Jasper De Buyst (Bel)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michael Morkov (Den) and Iljo Keisse (Bel)

Michael Morkov (Den) and Iljo Keisse (Bel)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Kenny De Ketele (Bel) and Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel)

Kenny De Ketele (Bel) and Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jasper De Buyst (Bel) and Iljo Keisse (Bel)

Jasper De Buyst (Bel) and Iljo Keisse (Bel)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jasper De Buyst (Bel) and Michael Morkov (Den)

Jasper De Buyst (Bel) and Michael Morkov (Den)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Melvin Van Zijl (Ned) and Christopher Lawless (Gbr)

Melvin Van Zijl (Ned) and Christopher Lawless (Gbr)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Otto Vergaerde (Bel)

Otto Vergaerde (Bel)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Eddy Merckx (Bel) at the Gent Six Day opening night

Eddy Merckx (Bel) at the Gent Six Day opening night
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Andreas Muller (Ger)

Andreas Muller (Ger)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse (Bel)

Iljo Keisse (Bel)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse (Bel) and Michael Morkov (Den)

Iljo Keisse (Bel) and Michael Morkov (Den)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Gent Six Day opening night

Gent Six Day opening night
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse (Bel)

Iljo Keisse (Bel)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rob Discart Race Organizer with Michael Morkov (Den) and Iljo Keisse (Bel)

Rob Discart Race Organizer with Michael Morkov (Den) and Iljo Keisse (Bel)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Kenny De Ketele

Kenny De Ketele
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

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.