Ghent Six

Ghent Six Day track cycling event

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Ghent Six is an annual track cycling event held in the Belgian town of Ghent.

Unsurprisingly the reason for it to be called a Six is because the event takes place over six days on the boards of the Kuipke velodrome in Ghent, Belgium.

The format of Six-Day racing gained it's popularity in the late 1800s at New York's famous Madison Square Garden - this is where the name Madison comes from - with racing going on for 24 hours over the full six days.

It started out with teams of two racing around the clock, one would race while the other rested before being launched into racing over the six days and nights.

Unsurprisingly, this changed and now both riders are on the boards with each rider taking turns to race before being slung into action by their team-mate after taking a lap or so out.

The Kuipke is unique in the world of European velodromes, firstly due to it being much shorter than the standard velodrome (which is 250m) as this venue is 166-metres long, this makes it a close and intimate venue with incredibly steep banking on the corners.

The Ghent Six Day was first held back in 1922 which was won by Marcel Buysse and the superbly named Oscar Egg. Great rider, but he didn’t half cause a mess when he fell off.

The rider who has won the event the most times is Patrick Sercu who claimed victory with various team-mates 11 times. Australian rider Danny Clark has six.

Bradley Wiggins has won the event twice (2003/2016) and come second once (2002) making him the most successful Brit at the event, taking the 2016 event as Madison world champions along with Mark Cavendish.

Cavendish had also come second along with Deceuninck - Quick-Step team-mate and Six Day racing legend, Iljo Keisse in 2014.

The last winners of the event was another Six Day star in Kenny De Ketele, along with new partner Robbe Ghys back in 2019. There was not 2020 event due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Cavendish is set to return to the boards with Keisse in 2021 with the racing starting on Wednesday, November 16.

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