Mark Cavendish returns to Six Days of Ghent

Five years after his unforgettable victory with Sir Bradley Wiggins, and two years after his last appearance, Cavendish is back on the boards in Belgium

Mark Cavendish at the 2016 Ghent Six Day
Mark Cavendish at the 2016 Ghent Six Day
(Image credit: Getty )

Mark Cavendish will be making his highly anticipated return to the Six Days of Ghent this year, as he teams up with Belgian star Iljo Keisse. 

Cavendish last raced the prestigious track event back in 2019, where he suffered a 70km/h crash on the opening night.  

It is five years since British sprinting star Cavendish took an unforgettable overall victory at the iconic velodrome in Ghent when he partnered with Sir Bradley Wiggins for the 2016 Six Day, just a month before Wiggins retired from racing. 

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The 2021 Ghent Six Day, officially called the Lotto Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent,  is the 80th edition of the historic track event and runs from Tuesday, November 16 to Sunday, November 21 

Cavendish and Keisse have teamed up on two previous occasions in the Ghent six day, finishing second overall in 2014, fourth in 2019. 

The pair are team-mates on the road with Deceuninck - Quick-Step, as Cavendish re-joined his old team having feared the premature end to his career last season.

Cavendish has found his way back to phenomenal form with Deceuninck, winning his first race since 2018 at the Tour of Turkey, going on to take four stage victories in the Tour de France, matching Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins.  

Keisse, now 38, is a veteran of both the track and road, having raced in the pro peloton since 2004.

The Ghent-born rider plans to retire from the peloton at the end of 2022, after 13 years with the Deceuninck squad. 

Six day cycling dates back to the late 19th century, when cyclists attempted to ride as far as possible over six days without rest. 

>>> Chris Froome motivated to improve next year: 'I’m going to keep pushing on, hoping for more progression' 

Over the years the spectacle developed into a multi-day track event, featuring a combination of disciplines with an overall classification to decide the winning pair.   

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.