Keukeleire top finisher for ORICA-GreenEDGE at Ronde van VlaanderenSun 5 Apr 2015
Belgian Jens Keukeleire was ORICA-GreenEDGE’s top finisher at the Ronde van Vlaanderen, crossing the line in 19th place in his home Classic this afternoon.
Keukeleire was amongst a remaining group of 25 riders moving into the final 20km, before losing contact shortly after as the attacks began.
Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha) took another victory from a break of two riders.
“It was a fairly unpredictable race but they guys actually rode really, really well,” sport director Matt Wilson said.
“We were a step above what we rode last year. The results don’t really show it but it was a really good effort.
“The team worked well together and Mitch (Docker) took an opportunity there as well in a move which was great to see.”
The attacks began from the drop of the flag at the start of the 264.9km day and a break of seven riders developed and established a lead of just under five minutes after the first 50km of racing.
After many counter-attacks, including that of Docker, the full break was eventually pulled in on the second time up the famous Kwaremont climb and the race began in earnest.
With a little under 40km remaining, a still reasonably full peloton began to splinter as the pressure went on at the front and a reduced group of 25 riders remained in contention, Keukeleire included.
Kristoff escaped with Niki Terpstra (Etixx – Quickstep) in the winning move with under 20km remaining. Keukeleire lost touch as a smaller group went in pursuit.
In the final, Kristoff showed nerves of steel as he waited for the sprint of Tepstra, who had sat on for the final kilometres. The pair narrowly held off the chasing duo of Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) for the top-two positions.