Keukeleire shows his stripes and wins the Tour of Belgium in national coloursSun 28 May 2017
2016 Vuelta a Espana stage winner Jens Keukeleire has won the overall title at the Baloise Belgium Tour today, racing for the Belgian national team and overcoming a crash in the finale to take the general classification victory for the first time in his home tour.
The ORICA-SCOTT rider capped off a string of consistent performances over the course of the five-day race including third place on stage four and ninth on Friday’s individual time trial to take the overall win today behind stage winner Jens Debuscherre (Lotto-Soudal).
“It’s unbelievable,” said Keukeleire at the finish. “Firstly to start and race here with the national team is already something special, just to pull on this jersey and race with my compatriots in my own country is really special.”
“I don’t necessarily think that is always easy because you have riders here from many different teams who are used to racing against each other, but the final group we had here raced so well together and you could see how hard we worked for each other.
“To be able to finish off the great work of the team and get the victory is truly unbelievable, I’m very happy.”
The Belgian national team had worked tirelessly throughout the fifth and final stage to ensure that Keukeleire, jumping off the wheel of national champion Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step-Floors) picked up the available intermediate sprint points to move ahead in the general classification.
An unfortunate crash in the final kilometre thankfully did not affect Keukeleire physically or the final result as he sealed the victory by six seconds ahead of French neo-pro Remi Cavagna (Quick-Step-Floors).
Baloise Belgium Tour final general classification:
1. Jens Keukeleire (BEL) ORICA-SCOTT 16:59:43
2. Remi Cavagna (FRA) Quick-Step-Floors 00:00:06
3. Tony Martin (DE) Katusha-Alpecin 00:00:11
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