Lotto Soudal teammates Jasper De Buyst and Tosh Van der Sande will be participating in the Lotto Six Days Flanders-Ghent, which takes place from Tuesday 13 November until Sunday 18 November. The duo will be riding in the Captains of Cycling shirt. Jasper De Buyst won the Six Days twice: in 2013 together with Leif Lampater and in 2014 with Kenny De Ketele. In 2015, his last participation, he and Otto Vergaerde finished third. Tosh Van der Sande participated for the last time in 2012. It’s the first time that Jasper and Tosh will form a pair on the track.
Jasper De Buyst: “Our track trainings are going really well, but you can’t compare that to an actual race. On training you are alone on the track and don’t have any opponents around you, so the circumstances are totally different. You suffer less on training than during the Six Days, when there will be moments that you need to help your partner when he’s in difficulty.”
“With my past, I can’t stand at the start without the ambition to win. Of course it won’t be easy to achieve that goal, but it is possible. As usual, there are strong participants, but I’m not watching my opponents and rely on our own strength. It will depend on small things, the difference between the top three is often small.”
“Resting will be important the following days, just like the preparation on the specific circumstances. From Saturday on I won’t be getting up as early as usual and I will go to bed later, to get used to the rhythm of the Six Days. Tosh and I still have a couple of trainings planned at ‘t Kuipke. I will be happy when we can finally start racing on Tuesday, after all preparations. It’s nice to be back at the start, five years after winning the Six Days for the first time, as a 19-year-old.”
Tosh Van der Sande: “This was the perfect moment to make a comeback in Ghent, because everything falls into place. Jasper is a good friend and we thought this was the right time to ride the Six Days together. We are both riding for the same team and Lotto is main sponsor of the event.”
“Two weeks ago, I came to Belgium to start preparing for the race together with Jasper. Since then we trained on the track almost every day. It had been a while since I had raced on the track, but you don’t lose those skills. Soon, we started riding behind the derny and we trained a lot for the madison. Our condition is fine, but we’ll need to adapt to the specific intensity of the track, which is different from a road race. But we tried to simulate those circumstances the best we could these past two weeks.”
“This will be the first time that Jasper and I are a pair on the track. He is a few years younger and that’s why we never raced together in the youth categories either. Jasper has more experience and more recent experience. He is alert and knows in which events we’ll need to grab points or when we’ll need to gain a lap. Much will depend on the first night. If we don’t finish on the podium, I will be disappointed, because we put a lot of time and energy in the preparation and my season is considerably extended. But I am very motivated. I am happy that I can ride on the track again.”