Keukeleire leaves Orica-Scott for Lotto Soudal

Jens Keukeleire will leave Orica-Scott to join Lotto Soudal next season, with the Belgian team announcing on Friday the signing of the 28-year-old on a two-year deal.

Keukeleire started his career at Cofidis but has spent the last six years at the Australian Orica-Scott team, over the course of which he has steadily grown in stature as a spring Classics rider.

This year he won the Baloise Belgium Tour and finished second at Gent-Wevelgem, and last year he won a stage at the Vuelta a España, while he also has top 10 finishes to his name at Paris-Roubaix, E3 Harelbeke, and Dwars door Vlaanderen.

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“I wasn’t looking for a new team, but half-way through the season I had a chat with [Lotto Soudal manager] Marc Sergeant and so the ball started rolling. I was still happy at Orica-Scott, but the fact that Lotto Soudal is a Belgian team made me decide to change team,” said Keukeleire.

“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 focused 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.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com