Evenepoel celebrates his best day on the bike

Belgian winner 108. Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) has won the 108th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. | Photo: Cor Vos

24/04/2022 | (rsn) – At the age of 22, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) won for the first time one of the five bicycle monuments in front of his two compatriots Quinten Hermans (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert) and Wout Van Aert (Jumbo – Visma). crowned. The Belgian broke out of the group of favorites as a soloist on the Cote de La Redoute and, after a solo over 30 kilometers, was first seen by his pursuers after the finish line.

“Today was my best day on the bike ever. It was fantastic but difficult,” Evenepoel explained in the interview with the winner, adding: “I fought alone in the headwind, but I think everyone suffered today, it was a The 2022 event was more than 25 minutes faster than last year, making it the second-fastest edition of the world’s oldest one-day race.

In the season’s last spring classic, Evenepoel gave his team victory in one of the most prestigious races on the cycling calendar. For the young Belgian himself, it was the first major success of the World Tour since his serious fall in Lombardy a year and a half ago.

“I suffered a lot mentally and physically after the Lombardy crash. But now I realize that everything is stable and I want to be the best Remco again. Today I showed the best Remco since then. I am proud to have won here” , Evenepoel explained in his typical, slightly arrogant way and spoke again about himself in the third person.

A Belgian podium for the first time in 36 years

For the first time since 1976, there was an all-Belgian podium at La Doyenne. His compatriot Hermans provided the surprise of the day as number two on the day. In his second entry, the 26-year-old cycling cross specialist sprinted to second place ahead of Van Aert, who, like Evenepoel, has never competed in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. “I did not expect that, it was a big surprise at all to be ahead and to be able to ask for second place,” said Hermans, and his compatriot was also pleased with his debut in Liège.

“With a little more luck I could have been number two. In the future, I think I can also win here if I have a great day and the race develops in my favor. Usually an attack on the fort is premature. But we is fast ramped up and then Remco chose his moment perfectly “, praised the Belgian champion the winner of the fourth monument of the season.

Fourth and fifth places went to Colombians Daniel Felipe Martinez (Ineos Grenadiers) and Sergio Higuita) ahead of the fourth Belgian in the top six, Fleché Wallonne winner Dylan Teuns (Bahrain – Victorious). At his last doyenne, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) finished in seventh place, Swiss Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) finished ninth as the best German-speaking driver.

Simon Geschke (Cofidis) finished as number 35, minutes after Freiburger, Belgian Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal) crossed the finish line in his emotional and final participation in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The former world champion, who was able to win all monuments except Milan-Sanremo, will hang his bike up at the end of the season just like Valverde.

This is how the race went:

The official start of the 257.2-kilometer one-day race around Liège took place at 10:20. Belgian Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal) made the first attack. The maximum advantage for the originally eleven-man group was about six minutes, which increased to six drivers in the second half of the race.

60 kilometers before the finish there was a mass fall in the field, where the world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step – Alpha Vinyl), among other things, fell down a hill. The Frenchman was rescued by the rescue and taken to the nearest hospital. The resulting confusion also helped the front runners defend their lead up to the final climbs.

Other top stars like Valverde were kept up by the crash and had to be brought back into the field by their teammates. Most of the time, Team Bahrain Victorious controlled what happened in the favorite field before launching the first attacks with just over 40 kilometers left. Above all, the Spaniard Mikel Landa tried several times but could not break decisively.

On the steep Cote de La Redoute, Bruno Amirail (Groupama – FDJ) left his companions and tried to fight his way through as a soloist. Evenepoel had the same thoughts in the field behind him, which also broke out on the penultimate climb – but only shortly before the top. The debutant quickly escaped the obviously surprised other favorites and set Amirail with 22 kilometers to go, which he shook off shortly after on the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons.

Behind them, Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora – hansgrohe) from the hunting group attacked on the last climb of the day and was able to get a lead of up to 15 seconds. But the Russian was caught again in the final kilometers of the day after his 26th birthday, so in Liège, 48 seconds after the winner of the battle for the podium, there was a sprint on an eleven-man group, which Hermans won ahead. by Van Aert.

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