Tuesday evening marked the start of Iljo’s final appearance as a rider in front of his home fans.

A legend of six-day racing and one of the most accomplished riders in the history of the Six Days of Gent – an event which he won seven times – Iljo Keisse was welcomed with raucous cheers by the fans attending the 81st edition of the prestigious competition, which celebrates one century since it was created.

The soon-to-be 40-year-old Belgian, who will hang up his bike in just a couple of days to make the transition to Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sports director, showed his intentions of going out with a bang at his favourite event by taking the victory in the second derny race after a flawless finale. It was a display that, combined with a solid ride in the two Madison races of the night, helped Iljo and his partner be in the same lap as the overall leaders of the Gent Six-Day, with a total of 25 points.

 

Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images

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