Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Evenepeol offers a historical exhibition to achieve the rainbow

Remco Evenepoel has offered an exhibition that will go down in history in the online test of the World Cycling Championships in Wollongong (Australia), a route of 266.9 kms. in which the Belgian runner dominated at will to end up winning by escaping and after riding alone the last 25 kms. of race.

Evenepoel, 22 years old, world champion already in the junior category in 2018 and recent winner of the Vuelta a España, carved out his victory with a movement at 74.5 km. goalkeeper who selected an escape. In his style, attacking from afar.

Later, he underpinned the victory with 40 goal, when the attacks in the main squad it did not give them to hunt down the more than 30 escapees; he channeled it when he left at 34.5 by wheeling Alexey Lutsenko, and finished it off at 25 by leaving the Kazakh on the last climb to the Pleasant wall that marked the test. Also in his style, bursting his rivals with a hellish pace.

They accompanied the successor of Julian Alaphilippe, winner in 2020 and 2021, as wearer of the rainbow jersey the also French Christophe Laporte and the local Australian Michael Matthewssilver and bronze, by winning the sprint that the main peloton disputed just after hunting down the rest of the escapees that were ahead already in the last meters of the test.

A group in which the other Belgian candidate for the final victory, Wout van Aert, he was the first to run out of a medal, third in the sprint and fourth at the finish line, 2 minutes and 21 seconds behind the winner. Illusions like Peter Sagan and Tadej Pogacar, also in the chasing group of 27 runners, finished seventh and nineteenth, respectively.

Another favorite a priori, the Dutch Mathieu van der Poel, abandoned the race shortly after the start because the night before he had an incident at his hotel with two teenagers who wouldn’t let him sleep, which led to a police arrest.

The Spanish team, which pulled the peloton for a long time and had Marc Soler attentive in moments from which he could have made a profit, lost all options by not filtering out any runner in the breakaway that gave Evenepoel wings at more than 70 km. of goal. Although in the final sprint Iván García Cortina took eleventh place.

It was not a great result for those led by Pascual Momparler, but not a bad one either in view of the team that the Valencian coach was able to gather to travel to Australia.

shaken boot

A moving start, with movements from France with Pavel Sivakov and Romain Bardet, sparked an initial 16-rider breakaway which also featured Australian Ben O’Connor. In these skirmishes, the main group split in two and three of the great candidates were cut, the current champion, Alaphilippe, Pogacar and Evenepoel.

The race was stabilized with the escape and accelerated again to 74.5 km. in the seventh of the twelve passage through the slope of Pleasant (1,100 meters at 7.7 percent drop, sections up to 17% and the top 7 km from the finish line), the key point of the race.

There the breakaway split in two and behind them an already important group of twenty runners was formed, including Evenepoel, Nairo Quintana, Romain Bardet, Florian Senechal, Jai Handley and Jan Traknik. And, the most important thing in the strategy of the race, three French and three Belgians.

The escapees and the group that left the head of the slope and the front platoon gathered, with Evenpeoel and Bardet, reached almost forty runners. With a two-minute lead, it seemed clear that the new rainbow was ahead.

It was called into question by an acceleration by Frenchman Madouas, who had several teammates at the head of the race, at the head of the main pack to reduce the deficit from two to one minute. A movement to which Soler was attentive but that did not have continuity, since the peloton stopped and the breakaway quickly recovered the two-minute lead.

Remco Ultimate Attack

There, with the large group losing many of its options and the escape almost consolidated, it was Evenepoel’s moment, who did not hesitate. A soccer player, like Remco was, if a ball falls on him in the area, he finishes it off. This one came to the powerful Belgian almost from a volley and he finished it off by taking Lutsenko with him. And then leaving the Kazakh on the penultimate climb of the Pleasant wall.

From behind, curiously, it was Van Aert who accelerated in the peloton heading into the last lap, perhaps thinking of getting on the podium with his teammate. Despite all the people in between.

The calculation of the second great Belgian candidate, who He was completely right because the main squad caught the last escapees almost over the finish line. But he lacked legs to take advantage of the opportunity, as he was outsprinted by his Jumbo teammate Visma Laporte and local hopeful Matthews. Who took the silver and the bronze. The gold was reserved for Evenepoel, a portent, and his unforgettable display.

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