Keukeleire trades blows on Eneco Tour fifth stage

Fri 15 Aug 2014

A brave ride by Jens Keukeleire has seen the Belgian trade blows with the top general classification contenders of the Eneco Tour on stage five today.

Tipped to be a day suited to the 25-year-old, Keukeleire featured at the front of the peloton for much of the race, closing down numerous attacks in the last 25km.

In the end it was BMC Racing’s relentless teamwork and counterattacking that saw Greg Van Avermaet produce the winning blow on the final rise to the line. Keukeleire finished 16th, amongst the first select group, and sits tenth on the general classification with two days remaining.

Sport director Matt Wilson was pleased with Keukeleire’s approach to the stage.

“He rode a really good race, a really aggressive race,” Wilson said.

“We had a plan going in that if he saw any opportunities on the last lap he was going to try to take them. He did that but unfortunately none of them stuck.

“We lost our key guy who was going to be with Jens today, Mat Hayman, who double-punctured coming into the final circuit. 

“We really needed him but fortunately Leigh Howard did a really good job, he made it across and stuck with Jens until that last lap.  

“After that he was isolated, which wasn’t ideal for us.”

A strong push to the line by Tom Dumoulin (GIA) for second saw him move into the overall lead, a lead Wilson predicts will be hard to wrestle away.

“I think Tom Dumoulin is in a really good position to win the race overall and Giant will do a good job controlling from here,” he said.

“We will see if there is an opportunity to take some more time. I think Jens (Keukeleire) is climbing well enough to go with just about anyone in this race so that is really good and it’s certainly not over yet.”