2015 Best Moments: Iljo Keisse – big in Milan!
Etixx – Quick-Step had another successful season in 2015, with 54 road wins alongside 69 other podium places. Over the next weeks we will look back on the 10 biggest moments for the team in the 2015 season. Our previous moments focused on the likes of Niki Terpstra, Michal Kwiatkowski, Julian Alaphilippe or Tony Martin. Our next best moment is Iljo Keisse concluding the Giro d'Italia with an incredible win from a breakaway.
A race of suffering which ended up on a high, this is the short way to describe Iljo Keisse's relationship with the 2015 Giro d'Italia. Riding the Corsa Rosa for the third year in a row, the Belgian had a tough time throughout the three weeks, but managed to make up for all by winning the last stage (Turin-Milan, 185 kilometers), thanks to a cunning attack which netted him a much-deserved Grand Tour victory, the first of his career.
With 30 kilometers to go, Iljo Keisse and Luke Durbridge broke away and rode hard on the technical circuit in Milan, quickly opening a gap that didn't look in any way to be a threat at that point. But as the race was approaching the finish, things became more and more serious and the two riders at the front increased their chances of upsetting the sprinters' plans. Both Keisse and Durbridge made use of their track skills and stayed away in the capital of Lombardy, despite having an advantage of less than a minute.
In the last 500 meters, the Australian tried to make Keisse open the sprint, but the huge experience of the former European track champion prevailed and helped him overhaul his opponent, crossing the finish line with his arms in the air in celebration for his biggest road success up-to-date. For the 32-year-old rider, it was the second victory of the season, the previous one coming in Ronde Van Zeeland, where he led an Etixx – Quick-Step 1-2-3-4.
"We wanted to finish the Giro by trying our best until the very last moment. This was a parcours that could be won without a sprint. It was a tricky circuit with a lot of corners. I'm a road rider with a track background, and can take corners pretty well. For sure I was going to try something. Maybe in the last two kilometers, maybe in the final corner, but I knew I would try. I thought there was a little bit of hesitation when we entered into the final circuit. The sprinters' teams weren't controlling yet. I had a feeling that was a good moment to go. I went at a certain point and I had Durbridge as my breakaway partner in crime. We worked perfectly together and took every corner full gas. We had a pretty big advantage in the last lap, and I knew the move was likely for the win. I counted on my sprint and didn't do any more pulls in the last kilometer. So I put a little bit of pressure on Luke's shoulders and it became a cat and mouse game. He stayed in front, and then inside the last 200 meters I went. It's my best victory ever. I'm so happy for this win not only for me, but also for my team Etixx – Quick-Step. It was a great way to conclude the 2015 Giro d'Italia."