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by Neal Rogers
September 30, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Russia court issues arrest warrant for doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov; Sacha Modolo moves from UAE Emirates to EF Education First-Drapac for two years; After six years with Orica-Scott, Jens Keukeleire to Lotto-Soudal for 2018-19; Toms Skujins leaves Cannondale-Drapac, signs two-year deal with Trek-Segafredo; Davide Martinelli renews contract with Quick-Step Floors for two years; TT world champion Van Vleuten to pursue cyclocross, mountain-bike, and track aspirations; GoPro launches Hero6 Black and Fusion 360; Red Bull Last Stand eliminator criterium returns to Alamo Plaza in San Antonio; Colorado man who shot cyclists with pellet gun faces only misdemeanor charges.
After six years racing with Orica-Scott, 28-year-old Belgian Jens Keukeleire will be racing for Lotto-Soudal in 2018. It will mark the first time Keukeleire, who started his career with the French squad Cofidis, will ride for a Belgian team.
A sprinter who excels in the classics, Keukeleire has finished sixth in Paris-Roubaix and ninth at E3 Harelbeke in 2015. Last year he won a stage at La Vuelta a España in a field sprint and he sprinted to fifth at Dwars door Vlaanderen. This year Keukeleire was the overall winner of the Baloise Belgium Tour, a race he rode with the Belgian national team, and finished second at Gent-Wevelgem behind Greg Van Avermaet.
“I wasn’t looking for a new team, but halfway the season I had a chat with Marc Sergeant and so the ball started rolling,” Keukeleire said. “I was still happy at Orica-Scott, but the fact that Lotto-Soudal is a Belgian team made me decide to change team. 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.”