Tour of Belgium winner Jens Keukeleire fought hard on the final stage of the BinckBank Tourin Belgium today, up repeated ascents of the iconic Muur van Geraardsbergen to finish with the leading group as the race drew to a close.
A hard final stage wrapped up a difficult week for ORICA-SCOTT with solid work by Michael Hepburn, Alex Edmondson and Mitch Docker keeping Keukeleire in a good position for the ascents up the Muur before the final stage blew apart.
The attacks peppered the finale and Keukeleire did well to stay with the leaders as they chased behind lone leader Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo). A lack of cohesion in the chase saw Stuyven hold out for the stage win with Tom Dumoulin (Team-Sunweb) sealing the overall victory.
A fast and challenging week of racing began with consistent top ten performances in the sprints from Magnus Cort after lead-outs from Docker and Roger Kluge.
Whilst a strong collective team showing on stage five saw Keukeleire move into the top ten overall before Saturday’s brutal stage in the Ardennes, the stage that turned much of the race on it’s head and set up the win for Dumoulin.
“After the way the stage played out yesterday it lifted some pressure from the guys today and we were able to have a go and try to get something out of the race,” said sport director Laurenzo Lapage. “When you slip a little on GC you maybe get a bit more freedom to attack and we thought we might have a chance with Jens over the Muur, but it came back together.”