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Mark Cavendish and Iljo Keisse to ride together at Six Days of Ghent

Keisse and Cavendish have ridden together three times at the track event but never won as a pairing. Can they change that in 2021?

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Deceuninck-Quick-Step teammates Mark Cavendish and Iljo Keisse will pair up for the Six Days of Ghent next month, the organizer has announced.

The Six Days of Ghent has been a regular fixture on the track calendar since its inception in 1922 and is one of the most prestigious of the six-day competitions. It was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the last edition run in 2019.

It will be the third time that Cavendish and Keisse have partnered up for the showpiece event. The pair last rode together in 2019 and finish fourth overall despite a heavy crash on the opening day of action.

Also read: Mark Cavendish, Patrick Lefevere agree terms for extension with Deceuninck-Quick-Step, discuss future in management

“Keisse has been crowned overall winner of the Lotto Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent with different teammates no fewer than seven times and is the crowd favorite as a true local, born and bred in Ghent,” the organizer said.

“This last road racing season, Mark Cavendish has been living out his second youth. The Brit showed that he can still be lightning fast at 36 by winning four stages and the green jersey in the Tour de France.”

Cavendish and Keisse have never won together, with their best finish second in 2014 behind Jasper De Buyst and Leif Lampater. Cavendish took his first and only win in the event with Bradley Wiggins in 2016.

Also read: Tour de France: Isle of Man hopes Mark Cavendish’s success will inspire next generation

Keisse last won the event in 2018 with Elia Viviani, while he has also partnered Glenn O’Shea, Peter Schep, and Michael Mørkøv to victory.

The pair will be going up against Mørkøv, another Deceuninck-Quick-Step teammate, who is riding with Lasse Norman Hansen. Mørkøv and Hansen recently took gold in the Madison at the world championships and will be the pairing to beat at the ‘t Kuipke velodrome.

Jasper De Buyst, who finished second in the last edition, will be pairing up with Roger Kluge, who finished third.

Meanwhile, defending champions Kenny De Ketele and Robby Ghys will be together again – who took bronze in the Madison at the worlds.

The Gent Six Day will take place from Tuesday, November 16 to Sunday, November 21.