The two Quick-Step Floors riders will team up for the prestigious track event (November 13-18).
The 78th edition of the Six Days of Gent will see many all-star pairings line up at the start in the legendary Kuipke velodrome, a 166.66m-long track that promises to deliver fireworks next week, when the riders will take on different races – points, team elimination, flying lap time trial, Madison, derny, sprint, scratch and 500m time trial – which will determine the final ranking.
Among the teams that will be vying for overall glory will be also the one comprising multiple winner Iljo Keisse and Olympic Omnium Champion Elia Viviani. For Iljo, this will be the 15th participation at the Six Days of Gent, which the now 35-year-old rider has conquered on six occasions: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015, a record this century.
World Champion and European Champion on the track and winner of nearly 30 Six Day events throughout his career, Iljo – who together with Elia will sport a Deceuninck – Quick-Step jersey – is ready to give it another go in his home race and try to get the better of his rivals, although the road that lies ahead announces itself as a challenging one.
"The Six Days of Gent is always a special event for me, one to which I look forward every year. I'm happy to be back on the bike and ride with Elia, an Olympic Champion on the track and the most successful rider of 2018 on the road. My family will be there, the fans will come in huge numbers and create a fantastic atmosphere and we'll do our best to get the victory, especially as it's been a few years since the last time I won here."
This past season has been an unforgettable one for Elia Viviani, winner of 18 races in the Quick-Step Floors jersey and European Team Pursuit Champion. After enjoying a well-deserved vacation following his successful Vuelta a España, where he captured three wins which he added to his four Giro d'Italia stages, the 29-year-old Italian resumed training and is ready for an adrenaline-packed week in Gent.
"I'm excited to be going to Gent and riding with Iljo. I'm sure it will be an amazing week, but also a difficult one, because many teams will be aiming for the win. To triumph in such an event you have to be both strong and smart. We are motivated for this, we hope to put on quite the show for all the fans in the stands and to take the overall victory in the mythical Kuipke", said Elia, who will be at the start for the third consecutive year.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images