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Two months to go: The Belgian kings of Six Day London

24 August 2017

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The day draws ever nearer as the clock ticks closer to Six Day London 2017.

To mark two months to go until the finest show on two wheels we take a look at the undisputed kings of Six Day London since it returned in 2015.

With two overall victories from two appearances, Kenny de Ketele and Moreno de Pauw have yet to taste defeat on the boards of the Lee Valley VeloPark velodrome.

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Two years on the trot they have broken the hearts of the British faithful in the crowd by beating first Chris Latham and Ollie Wood, and then none other than Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish in the final Madison chase of the final night of Six Day London.

In doing so, however, their charming demeanour and aggressive racing style has endeared them to the Six Day London crowd.

Loved in their homeland of Belgium, they now receive support from the London crowd for being, arguably, the best current exponents of Six Day racing in the world.

So with two months to go, we look at the two Belgian board masters to see what makes them so good, and what their peers think of them.

Kenny de Ketele

Age: 32

From: Oudenaarde, Belgium

Trade team: Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise

Career highlight: Madison World Champion (2012) – with Gijs van Hoecke

Role in the pairing: The engine

Moreno de Pauw

Age: 26

From: Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Trade team: Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise

Career highlight: World Championship Madison bronze medallist (2017) – with Kenny de Ketele

Role in the pairing: The sprinter

Winners of not just two Six Day Londons in a row, but also Six Day Amsterdam and the Six Day Series final in Mallorca, the Belgians were kings of the boards last winter.

Away from the Six Day Series they also finished second in the Ghent Six to Wiggins and Cavendish – the Brits getting their own back for defeat in London – and won bronze at the 2017 Madison World Championships.

But while their strength undoubtedly lies in the Madison – the cornerstone of any Six Day event – it is their all-round ability that makes them such formidable opponents.

De Ketele has three World Championship medals in the points race – he was only beaten this year by fellow Six Day London rider Cameron Meyer – while de Pauw has been Belgian champion in both the points race and the omnium.

Their track craft is second to none and their ability to judge their efforts of the duration of a Six Day race is currently unrivalled.

This was illustrated by their finished in the remaining two Six Day Series events last season where, despite not winning, they still finished on the podium to comfortably top the four-leg Series standings.

Don’t just take out word for it, though – here’s what rivals, and friends, Wiggins and Cavendish had to say about them after being beaten in London last year.

“To lose to Kenny and Moreno, they’re good friends of mine – it’s not like we haven’t lost to the best Six Day riders in the world,” said Cavendish.

With partner Wiggins adding: “It’s no mean feat losing to those guys. They’re real specialists at this.”

And who are we to argue with the opinions of those two cycling greats?

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