Jens Keukeleire leaves Orica-Scott for Lotto Soudal
Sep 29 2017 12:28 pm CET

Jens Keukeleire leaves Orica-Scott for Lotto Soudal

Belgian rider Jens Keukeleire is set to make the move from Orica-Scott to Lotto Soudal, with which he has signed a contract for the next two years.

The 28-year-old from Bruges never rode for a Belgian team before, having turned professional at Cofidis in 2010 before joining his current team two years later.

Keukeleire impressed by winning the Tour of Belgium this year, and finished second at Gent-Wevelgem. In 2016, he won stages at the Vuelta a España and the Tour of Slovenia.

"I wasn’t looking for a new team, but half-way the season I had a chat with Marc Sergeant and so the ball started rolling," the rider explained. "I was still happy at Orica–Scott, but the fact that Lotto Soudal is a Belgian team made me decide to change.

"The past seasons I often rode with the national team and being surrounded with fellow Belgians, both riders and staff, creates a specific atmosphere. I already have a bond with several riders and staff members of Lotto Soudal, so I am very much looking forward to be part of this team. Especially to be working together for the spring races. The past seasons, Orica–Scott focussed more and more on the Spring Classics too, but you can’t compare it to how a Belgian team deals with it.

"It’s also a nice point in my career to move to another team. I have been making progress every year and now I’m approaching my top. At Orica–Scott there are many GC riders, for whom I had to work in stage races, at Lotto Soudal I will get more freedom in those races."

Lotto Soudal manager Marc Sergeant confirms that Keukeleire will have more freedom at his new team. "At Orica he always was a team player and never the main leader. He was at peace with that role, but that will be different at our team."
Photo of Jens Keukeleire by CyclingPub / Mary Cardenas



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