Kluge and De Buyst In The Lead After Day 1

European Marathon Champion Bashir Abdi and Ghent’s Councillor for Sport Sofie Bracke sounded the starting shot for the 80th edition of the Lotto Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent on Tuesday night. Jasper De Buyst and his German team mate Roger Kluge are in the lead after the first day.

An eager Kenny De Ketele immediately set the tone in his last Lotto Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent by winning the first points race, ahead of Michael Morkov and Iljo Keisse. Later in the evening, ‘Ketelke’ also won the first derny race to the audience’s great joy. When the second derny race was won by Keisse shortly afterwards the decibel sound level meter of the Kuipke went well into the red.

Jules Hesters and Tuur Dens chalked up some more Belgian victories. Dens won the track lap, launched by his Danish team mate Marc Hester. Hester triumphed in the second points race and super sprint.

The team elimination ended up being a Belgian-Dutch battle with De Ketele and Ghys narrowly losing to Jan-Willem van Schip and Yoeri Havik. The young Dane Matias Malmberg added the scratch to his track record.

However, the race that really separates the wheat from the chaff at the Six Days is of course the Madison. In the first Madison of the evening, De Ketele/Ghys, Morkov/Norman Hansen, Rickaert/Dillier and Kluge/De Buyst gained one or more laps on the opposition.

De Ketele/Ghys started the second and last Madison of the day 5 points ahead of Morkov/Norman Hansen. The Belgians and Danes kept a close eye on each other, and other teams benefited from that. Iljo Keisse and Mark Cavendish won the Madison and took back one lap. But Kluge and De Buyst also won a lap, which allowed them to jump to first place in the ranking.

Kluge and De Buyst have 41 points and are one lap ahead of De Ketele/Ghys (78 points), Morkov/Norman Hansen (65), Keisse/Cavendish (57), Vergaerde/Hester (39) and Rickaert/Diller (29). The other teams follow closely at three or more laps.