We have a new world champion. Remko Evenboel won the World Cycling Championship in Australia. After a strong race from the Belgians, our compatriot left everyone two laps behind. On his own, he entered Wollongong. Rainbow goes to Shepdale.
It was very pleasing to the eyes. It was actually just before the start at Helensburgh. Mathieu van der Boel spent half the night in a police station after an argument over late-night noise at his hotel. The Dutchman started but gave up after 30 kilometers. The three-star favorite lost at the World Cup in Wollongong.
This did not greatly alter the plan of the French. They used Mount Keira to dynamite the course – you read that right – 225 kilometers from the finish. Everything was at hand. Van Aert replied thoughtfully with a cherry. Bokakar, van Baarle and Kung also eagerly joined the 31-driver group.
Evenpohl, Mathews, and Girmay were either surprised or chose to conserve energy. Van Aert used his arsenal sensibly at the front. Bokar did it a little less, stirring up the affair with gusto on the first of twelve passes over Mount Pleasant.
It’s been a fantastic start to the World Cup and it’s back to a classic crease. The Germans took the chestnuts out of the fire and again overtook the platoon with Van Aert and Bogger. Cherry, Sivakov, Plab, O’Connor and Sivakov were not captured and they made the early escapees cross.
The case suddenly dropped eight minutes after which the Dutch took over and secured control. Cherry sat the Belgians and himself in a quiet middle ground. This was the case until the French were back in action. Evenepoel, Hermans and Dewulf joined the 20-man group 70 kilometers from the finish.
The Belgians rode a fine line this way. A keen Evenpoel brought to the stage, the winner of the Vuelta couldn’t hide his good legs. As the peloton was losing more and more ground, Evenboel, along with Lutchenko, clicked from the bottom at the start of the penultimate lap.
Evenepoel didn’t care too much. At Mount Pleasant, he didn’t have to attack Lutsenko to throw him overboard. Van Aert stretched his legs for the favourites, but it was already over two minutes. Evenboel lay flat on his handlebars and in time trialist fashion it went into the final lap.
It was nothing short of a triumphant trip to Evenpole. Ten years after Philippe Gilbert, he steamed inexorably for a new Belgian world title. After bronze at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Classica San Sebastián, Vuelta and time trial, now the rainbow jersey. Will the crystal bicycle also come?
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