Heavy crashes overshadow first day

Following a heavy crash of Gerben Thijssen in the supersprint the first day’s programme of the 79th Lotto Six Days of Flanders-Ghent was brought to an early halt. 

On the final lap of the supersprint Gerben Thijssen made contact with Denmark’s Oliver Wulff Frederiksen. He received care on track and was conscious as he was transferred to hospital for further treatment. The other riders were shocked by the event and asked to discontinue the night’s action shortly after 00:30. The crowd in a packed Kuipke responded with an understanding applause. 

Earlier Mark Cavendish also suffered a dramatic crash during the one-lap time-trial. The Briton quickly signalled he was okay, but decided to head back to the hotel to recover. His team-mate Iljo Keisse was coupled to Jonas Rickaert, whose partner Roy Pieters missed out due to illness.

After the first day the Jules Hesters and Otto Vergaerde have taken the lead with 46 points. Kenny De Ketele and Robbe Ghys are second, trailing the leaders by just one point. Seven teams remain on the lead lap. On Wednesday the second day’s programme is set to continue as planned.