National Championship Belgium Road

BE Belgium, 30 Jun
1 stages, 223.8 km

Evenepoel animates Belgian Nationals

Evenepoel animates Belgian Nationals

Bronze medallist in the individual time trial, Remco Evenepoel continued to play a prominent role at the Belgian Championships, this time in the 228.5km-long road race that got off to an explosive start that split the peloton to pieces. Unfortunately, Deceuninck – Quick-Step lost Tim Declercq through a crash and had to soldier on with just five riders, but that didn’t stop the Wolfpack from taking the race by the scruff of the neck.

Seventy kilometers from the start, Belgium Tour winner Evenepoel attacked with four other riders and despite the maximum gap not going over the two-minute mark, the move ended up applying quite the pressure on the bunch, who had to chase hard in order to overhaul them. Our 19-year-old neo-pro was responsible for the fireworks as he continued to shine at the front, doing some long pulls and even attacking several times on the penultimate lap, a move which dropped two men from the break.

Once the escapees were brought back, Deceuninck – Quick-Step went again on the offensive, with Philippe Gilbert and defending champion Yves Lampaert, but the bunch reacted each time and made sure the race would come down to a bunch gallop, which was won by Tim Merlier (Corendon-Circus). Philippe Gilbert still had enough in the legs to get in the mix and sprinted to fourth place, with Yves making it two Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders in the top 10 in Gent.

Sports director Tom Steels made an analysis of Sunday’s race: “The opening part of the day was extremely hectic and we lost Tim there, after he crashed. Even in these conditions, we were keen on trying something, so we attacked with Remco, who was the strongest in the break and showed again his potential. After they got caught, we launched some attempts, but unfortunately, the course didn’t suit us. That’s why, fourth place after having featured in the main move of the race is a satisfying result after this hard and hectic day.”

 

Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen/ Getty Images

Race details

1 Tim Merlier
Corendon - Circus
4:59:12
2 Timothy Dupont
Wanty - Gobert Cycling Team
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3 Wout van Aert
Team Jumbo-Visma
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4 Philippe Gilbert
Deceuninck - Quick Step
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5 Jasper de Buyst
Lotto Soudal
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6 Edward Theuns
Trek - Segafredo
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7 Michael Van Staeyen
Roompot - Charles
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8 Kenneth Van Rooy
Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
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9 Jasper Philipsen
UAE-Team Emirates
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10 Yves Lampaert
Deceuninck - Quick Step
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84 Remco Evenepoel
Deceuninck - Quick Step
0:53
86 Dries Devenyns
Deceuninck - Quick Step
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89 Iljo Keisse
Deceuninck - Quick Step
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1005 Tim Declercq
Deceuninck - Quick Step
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