Belgium 20 June 2021 1 stages ( 221.3 km )
Evenepoel takes third in Waregem
A strong Deceuninck – Quick-Step team took to the start line, where the best riders in Belgium lined up to fight for the right to wear the famous jersey. A fast-paced start to the race meant that there was a struggle to form the day's breakaway. When it did, Mauri Vansevenant was able to join the group which built up a sizable lead but were always kept in check by the peloton. There were several counter attacks to try and bridge across to them, including efforts from both Yves Lampaert and Dries Devenyns.
However, on an unselective course they were unable to bridge across and with the Vansevenant group reeled in, Remco Evenepoel and Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) were joined by Edward Thuens (Trek-Segafredo) in breaking clear, with the trio driving for the finish. Knowing he was surrounded by more seasoned riders, Remco tried to use his special time trial skill to go clear several times, but could not quite break free. This led to the race coming to a sprint finish that was just taken by Van Aert, with Remco taking an impressive third place, to add to his silver in the time trial earlier in the week.
“I knew that if I wanted to get a good result today, I had to attack, so I did that from the distance. Having class riders as Wout and Edward with me I was aware it wasn’t going to be easy, so I tried twice to alone, but I didn’t make it despite all my efforts. On the finishing straight, there wasn’t anything else I could have done, so third place on this parcours and in this company with two explosive riders is the best possible outcome.”
“I am not disappointed, but coming second and third this week is a big pity. On the other hand, the team can be proud of how we rode today. Now I will take a few days to recover and then focus towards the Olympic Games. My feeling on the bike is improving, so that’s a good thing for my next goals”, Remco said after Sunday’s National Championships.
Photo credit: ©Luc Claessen / Getty Images