Remco Evenepoel was again in a league of his own, obliterating the field at the Druivenkoers Overijse, the 192km race which included several climbs that will feature four weeks from now at the World Championships held in Flanders. The 21-year-old married imagination with adventure when he made his move soon after the peloton overhauled the escapees and our team made a significant selection, quickly building a one-minute advantage which he carried onto the local lap.
There, with around 30 kilometers to go, the race was neutralized by the organisers due to a car that caught fire on the course following an accident. After 15 minutes of delay, Druivenkoers Overijse resumed, and Remco took off again with the 30-second advantage he had over the field at the moment he was stopped quickly being nudged out again to almost one minute. Without ever looking back, the Belgium Tour and Danmark Rundt winner pushed the pedal to the metal and kept the speed high, while behind his Deceuninck – Quick-Step patrolled the front of the peloton.
Evenepoel eventually relented only with 100 meters to go, sitting up to celebrate his sixth victory since June, and the team’s 51st of the season, 40 seconds clear of teammate Mikkel Honoré, who made it a memorable 1-2 for the Wolfpack. To add to the team’s perfect day in Flanders, Kasper Asgreen – who raced for the first time since the Olympics – won the sprint of the first chasing group, taking fourth place.
“It was a very special race, because it was the first time I got to ride so close to my home in a pro race. I was motivated and wanted to put in a good display, but then it turned into something really beautiful. At the same time, it was hard; attacking 60 kilometers from the finish and holding off the chasers it’s not easy by any means, but I’m happy I could do it.”
“Then there was that incident and we all had to stop, and once the race got underway again, I was hoping to come off the Moskesstraat with a 30-second advantage, but things went better than that and I had 45 seconds in hand. The headwind made it very difficult until the end, but I gave everything and I’m proud not only of the outcome, but also to be on the podium with a teammate, that felt great. The entire team did a perfect race and I want to thank my teammates for their help. I got a lot of support from them during my comeback, they kept believing in me and to repay them with this victory is quite emotional”, said a delighted Evenepoel.
“Today we delivered a great team performance. Remco took a beautiful win after an amazing ride, and we had first, second and fourth at the finish, which shows the Wolfpack’s incredible depth. I had good legs and came here with a lot of confidence after San Sebastian and Poland, so to be in the top 3 brings me a lot of satisfaction. Now I look forward to my next race, the Bretagne Classic, on Sunday”, added Mikkel, the first Dane in 24 years to finish on the Druivenkoers Overijse podium.