The 36-year-old Belgian was riding in support of teammates Zdenek Stybar, Yves Lampaert and eventual winner Philippe Gilbert when he crashed into a traffic sign with 107km remaining in the 257km race.
"I didn’t see the traffic furniture, which the rider in front of me avoided by a question of millimeters at the last moment, and so I crashed big time, but luckily that yellow safety cushion softened the impact, otherwise it could have been worse," Keisse said in a statement released by his team. "I tried to get back, but I quickly realised that it wasn’t an option and my race was over, and knowing that I woouldn’t be there for my squad made me sad.”
Keisse was taken from the race course to Denain hospital, where doctors diagnosed the elbow fracture. He was then transferred to the Herentals hospital in Belgium, where he underwent surgery Sunday night and had his arm put in a cast, which he’ll have to wear for 10 days before slowly getting back on the bike with the assistance of a brace, according to his team.
Keisse, who has been a crucial part of Deceuninck-QuickStep's run of success this year even after being kicked out of the Vuelta a San Juan for directing a crude gesture at a local waitress, was riding his eighth consecutive Paris-Roubaix for the team.
“Paris-Roubaix is one of the most beautiful races in the world," he said, "but it’s beautiful only when you get through it without any crashes."
Keisse, who obviously missed the finish in Roubaix, also had a message for Gilbert, who beat Nils Politt in a two-up sprint on the banks of the Roubaix velodrome to take his fourth Monument victory.
“Chapeau, Philippe," he said. "I always knew you could do it and I’m very happy for you. I was able to watch the final 10 kilometers together with the team doctor, to whom I’m very grateful for having remained at my side at all times. I don’t know when it will happen, but I can’t wait to get back in the pack.”