Quick-Step Floors' experienced Dane and Kenny De Ketele staged a remarkable comeback on the last evening, which catapulted them to the top of the classification.
The 56th edition of the Six Days of Copenhagen came down to the wire, making of the final night of the event a truly memorable one, at the end of which Michael Mørkøv and his partner Kenny De Ketele crowned themselves champions, a sensational win that will forever stand as one of the best in the race's history.
The sixth day began with Joeri Havik and Moreno De Pauw in control, extending their lead in the rankings following a hard-fought win in the team elimination race, but the Number 7 duo of Mørkøv and Ketele bounced back in style in the 60-lap derny race, where Michael put in a fierce acceleration, making up ground as he came from third position and hit a 76km/h maximum speed, thus bringing the team on par with their opponents.
In the team time trial, De Pauw and Havik regained the lead, and as none of the teams got any points in the giant sprint, it all came down to the 60-minute Madison, the final race of the Six Days of Copenhagen. There, the two duos continued to trade punches, with the Number 7 team trying to overturn the 10-point deficit and attacking several times, only for their rivals to respond. With no one able to take a one-lap lead, the victory was played on the very last sprint of the race, won by the Danish-Belgian pair,
"I came into this event well-prepared after a month of racing and training in Australia with Quick-Step Floors. It's always a big week for me here in Ballerup and something I look forward to each time I participate here so I'm really happy that we were able to take the victory. It was an intense race and nothing was decided before the last day, even before the final event", an over-the-moon Michael said as he celebrated his great victory. "We had hoped we could get a one-lap lead on Havik and De Pauw, so we didn't have to sprint against them but they were strong. We thought on several occasions that we had them several times, but they kept coming back; fortunately, we were strong enough to decide it in the sprint, where we had the marginal gain."
After the wins he clocked up between 2009 and 2011, then in 2013, 2015 and 2017, this is the first of Michael's together with a non-Danish teammate, for whom he was full of praise. More importantly, it moved him just closer to the all-time record, held by Australia's Danny Clark.
"I am proud that I can be here, a 32-year-old road race rider, and still be in the mix in such a company, with the best six days riders in the world. I was no doubt lucky to have one of the best with me in Kenny De Ketele, who was amazing this week! The record here is eight titles, and if last year I wasn't sure there's a chance to get there, now I'm beginning to think it's possible. I am 100% focused on the road, but I will grab the chance if it shows."
Photo credit: ©Sigfrid Eggers and ©Drew Kaplan Photography