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Keukeleire dashes to first professional win in Wallonia

Jens Keukeleire (Cofidis) on the podium

Jens Keukeleire (Cofidis) on the podium (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)

21-year-old Jens Keukeleire stunned the peloton in the Belgian race Le Samyn today by knocking out his first professional win in his inaugural season with the Cofidis team. The neo-pro found himself too far back in the sprint, so he set off alone on the left side of the course while the rest of the sprinters took to the right.

Without shelter from the wind, it took a long, sustained effort to the line, and, he told, "Suddenly I was alone at the front and could make a victory salute."

In just his sixth race as a pro, Keukeleire followed up two top-ten finishes in the Challenge Mallorca and a 4th place behind Andre Greipel on stage two of the Volta ao Algarve with the victory today in his home country, a feat made even more special because it was broadcast live on Belgian television.

"I'm really happy - the GP Samyn is no small race and it was live on television - my father was at home watching!"

The win was Cofidis' seventh victory of the season, and Keukeleire hopes to continue to make an impression at the Driedaagse van Vlaanderen, which begins on Friday.