• 2015, Paris - Roubaix, Orica GreenEdge 2015, Keukeleire Jens, Carrefour de l'Arbre
Jens Keukeleire has has picked up the mantle of cobbled classics specialist for ORICA-GreenEDGE with a 6th place at Paris-Roubaix.
By
Cycling Central

13 Apr 2015 - 9:31 AM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:39 PM

The team went into the race with two strong options, classics veteran Mat Hayman and Keukeleire, but in the end it was the 26-year-old who delivered.

The Australian team was in the mix at all the key moments of the race and it was the Belgian who finished it off with their best ever result at Roubaix.

Keukeleire entered the velodrome in Roubaix in the lead group but after a 253km long battle did not have the legs to go further in the finale against eventual winner John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin).

"They always told me it's a really amazing feeling riding into the velodrome," Keukeleire said. "I have done it many times but not with the front group."

"No matter how bad I felt in the final, you always have to keep believing and I tried my best but I just didn't have any legs.

"It's a pretty amazing feeling riding for the win."

Roubaix demands perseverance and Keukeleire stayed in the race despite a puncture in the Arenberg Forest sector. There team-mate Sam Bewley came to his rescue with a wheel, and the Belgian battled back to the front chase group.

"I am definitely happy with the result," Keukeleire said. "Especially if you look at the race I did, I had a lot of bad luck and to be honest a couple of times I thought my race was over but I know from previous editions that you can never give up.

"You always keep fighting because you never know where you'll end up and I'm still top ten.

Sports director Matt Wilson was thrilled with the final outcome which delivered the team's best ever result at the race.

"All the guys were really good at the start covering the moves," Wilson said. "We were in a couple of other ones that went away and then (Adam) Blythe was in the one that stuck."

"So at the start it was all going perfectly and even in the first 30-40km of the pave sections it was all going pretty well and then we started to get the punctures, crashes and bad luck but that's Paris-Roubaix.

"But it was the best result for us at a cobbled classic, that's huge for us, and Jens rode incredibly.

"He made all the right decisions, move all the right moves and gave himself every chance to win the race."