Remco reigns supreme
By winning the world road championships, two weeks after dominating the Vuelta, Remco Evenepoel is showing himself as a worthy heir to Eddy Merckx.
The world champion’s rainbow jersey is a triumph for Belgian cycling. Remco Evenepoel killed all suspense with 27 kilometres to go by escaping alone, leaving his closest pursuers more than two minutes behind. Frenchman Christophe Laporte and Australian Michael Matthews completed the podium. Wout van Aert, the other Belgian champion, finished in 4th place. It is the first time since 1983, with Greg Lemond’s victory 39 years ago, that there is such a time difference of more than a minute.
For the young Brabant rider, 2022 ends with a record worthy of the greatest cyclists of all time. To be crowned world champion in road cycling, two weeks after winning the Vuelta and five months after triumphing in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, few people have achieved such a feat. It had been 42 years since one rider, Bernard Hinault, had won a major classic, a grand tour and the world championships in the same year. Eddy Merckx had also achieved the monument-grand tour-world championship triple in 1971.
At only 22 years of age, the young Belgian prodigy is also the youngest winner of the last 29 years. Above all, he gets Belgium a 27th world title among professionals; the first one since ten years and Philippe Gilbert's victory in Valkenburg in 2012.
Let's also salute the great performance of Belgian rider Lotte Kopecky who, by finishing second in the women's race, becomes the runner-up of the world champion.