Cycling: Belgian triple at Liège-Bastogne-Liège
After a blistering attack with less than 30 km to go, Remco Evenepoel won the most beautiful victory of his young career with great style. Two other Belgians joined him on this historical podium.
Considered one of the greatest hopes in cycling, Remco Evenepoel was nevertheless very close to see his career end on 15 August 2020. On that day, the Belgian crashed on the descent of the Muro di Sormano in the Giro di Lombardia. At the bottom of the low wall, he could neither move nor breathe and finally ended up with a broken pelvis.
After regaining peak form, the Brabant cyclist was able to demonstrate the extent of his talent on the course of the oldest classic, without the challenge of the race bothering him at the age of 22. Launching a sharp attack on the Côte de La Redoute, with 28 km to go, Evenepoel caught up with the last survivor of a previous breakaway and then took off in a long solo race to achieve a magnificent victory.
After a 257 km race, Remco won the 108th Liège-Bastogne-Liège and took the first Monument of his career. "I have no words. Finishing alone in my favourite race, with a lead of almost a minute, I am very happy," he said with great emotion before climbing onto the podium, which displayed the black-yellow-red of Belgium. Quinten Hermans won the sprint for second place ahead of Wout van Aert. Dylan Teuns, who had won La Flèche Wallonne a few days earlier, finished in a fine sixth place.
We have to go back to 1976 to find the last time three Belgian riders finished on the top three steps of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, with Joseph Bruyère, Freddy Maertens and Frans Verbeeck.
Finally, let's remember that the event record-holder is still the legendary Eddy Merckx with his five victories.