Iljo Keisse has joked that Mark Cavendish “changes bikes like underwear” as the Deceuninck–Quick-Step riders prepare for the Six Days of Ghent.
The formidable pair will team-up for the iconic track cycling event, which takes place between November 17-22 and they have been attempting to perfect their preparations ahead of it - though Keisse says Cavendish is becoming the ultimate tinker man.
“We trained together on Monday and he had some speed, he seemed OK,” Keisse told Het Nieuwsblad.
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They're pretty good, but they’re not quite right yet. Cav changes bikes like underwear. He has decided to ride on a different frame and they’re being set-up and finished at the service course in Wevelgem.
“When he stopped after 15 laps on Monday, I thought: here we go again. In the end he was only off the bike for five minutes and finished the rest of the training.”
Cavendish and Keisse have teamed up before in Ghent, finishing second in 2014, but Keisse is going for an eighth title, while his British team-mate is looking to follow up his success in 2016 with Bradley Wiggins. But the Belgian says the overall achievements of his partner - the joint record Tour de France stage winner - outstrip his.
“I've resolved not to bark at Cav again in the six-day race. I’ve done it before but Cavendish has a track record that doesn't fit into the Ghent town hall. His palmarès is a hundred times bigger than mine, who am I to tell him what to do?
“I want to enjoy it more now than in years past, without gigantic pressure on my shoulders. Sometimes I could no longer see the beauty of the Six Days. Or I saw it, but I didn't enjoy it. That was all unnecessary. Cav and I are going to start and do our best. We'll see where we end up.”
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