Mark Cavendish to make track return at Six Days of Ghent

Manx Missile confirms pairing with Iljo Keisse on Twitter

Mark Cavendish will make an eagerly-awaited return to the track next month after confirming on Twitter he is to ride the Six Days of Ghent.

Cavendish will join Omega Pharma-Quickstep’s track ace Iljo Keisse at the event as he looks to build fitness for the coming road season – one year after his return to the boards was put on hold by team boss Patrick Lefevere.

Mark Cavendish, pictured training on the boards as Omega Pharma-Quickstep tested positioning last year, will ride the Six Days of Ghent (pic: Emily Maye/OPQS)

Former world Madison champion Cavendish, who won the rainbow jersey alongside Rob Hayles in 2005 and Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2008, said it would be an honour to partner Keisse – a five-time former winner in Ghent.

Keisse, who last year partnered Niki Terpstra as they won the Six Days of Rotterdam for the second consecutive year, also took to Twitter to confirm the news and thank fans for the positive reaction.

It will mean Cavendish bidding to become the first British rider since Wiggins, who partnered Matthew Gilmore to success in 2003, to win the six-day event.

Taking place from November 18 to November 23, the event will see Cavendish and Keisse tackle the Madison, derny race, elimination race, time trial, points race and sprint.

Cavendish has previously made no secret of his ambition to return to the track, with former-team mate Wiggins having shown the way earlier this year as he raced to Commonwealth Games team pursuit silver.

Lefevere had initially stated, due to fears over the Manxman picking up an injury, that Cavendish would not be riding the Ghent Six this year.

After an injury-disrupted road season, and with Paris-Roubaix champion Terpstra likely to play an even bigger role in the Classics campaign next year, Lefevere appears to have eased in his stance.

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