Iljo Keisse podiums at Halle-Ingooigem
The Belgian sprinted to his second top-3 finish of the season, four days before making his sixth appearance at the National Championships.
Coming off the back of a strong Ster ZLM Toer, where he was part of a successful Quick-Step Floors squad which notched a stage win and placed two riders in the top five, Iljo Keisse showed his fine form and fast turn of speed at the 70th edition of Halle Ingooigem, getting into the mix with the sprinters and taking a well-deserved podium, behind Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo).
The 200.5km 1.1 Belgian race was expected to end up in a bunch gallop, but the attackers made sure of putting the sprinters' teams to work until the very end, launching move after move in the final 50 kilometers, once the day's three-man escape was reeled in. The peloton reacted quickly each time, but it was only with five kilometers to go that all the attacks were suppressed and things eventually calmed down, before the hectic finish in which Iljo came a close third.
Keisse's top-3 in Wednesday's race was Quick-Step Floors 64th podium since the start of the season, half of these coming in the form of victories. The 34-year-old's next event will be the Belgian Championships, which will be held on Sunday, in Antwerp, over a 238km course that will see the riders take on 28 cobblestone sectors, for a total of 19.6 kilometers of pavé.
Photo credit: © Tim De Waele