Just before his dominant performance in the Four Days of Grenoble finale with Iljo Keisse, World Madison Champion, Kenny De Ketele took time to talk to VeloVeritas.
De Ketele has been around the track scene for a long time, always there and knocking on the door.
But it was the winter of 2011/12 when the man from Oudenaarde finally arrived.
The European Madison Championship went his in the autumn when he paired with QuickStep star Iljo Keisse; the Ghent Six fell to him in November, this time paired with Germany’s ‘Potsdam Bear,’ Robert Bartko – with the jewel in the crown coming when De Ketele paired with youngster Gils Van Hoecke to pull on the rainbow jerseys in the World Madison Championship in Melbourne in the spring.
His first results of note came back in 2003 with second in the European Junior Points Championship – behind Dutch flyer Wim Stroetinga – and second in the Junior Ronde Van Vlaanderen.
The following season he was on top of the European podium – winning the U23 Madison with a certain Iljo Keisse.
That year he also part realised a dream – winning the UiV U23 race at the Gent Six Day with Steve Schets.
For 2005 the top spot of the European U23 Madison podium was to be denied De Ketele and Schets by a team that’s now one of the very best – Michael Mørkøv and Alex Rasmussen of Denmark, with the Belgians taking home silver.
But the Flandrians did take the Munich UiV race.
A year later and the Belgians were crowned European U23 Madison Champions.
In 2007 De Ketele became European U23 points champion – endorsing the versatility which has seen him win Belgian titles in the pursuit, team pursuit, scratch, kilometre, points, omnium, madison and omnium.