Evenepoel solos to victory in Brussels


Remco Evenepoel was the big favourite at the start in the Jubelpark. As a home rider, he knows the region like the back of his hand and he played his trump card at more than 80 km from the finish. An elite group dived into the final, but Evenepoel was the one to put the icing on the cake with 11 km to go. He wins ahead of Aimé De Gendt and Tosh Van der Sande.

© Photonews

After 12 km, the early breakaway was formed. Peyskens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), De Vylder (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise), Traeen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Van Empel (Vini Zabu’), Hesters (Beat Cycling), Scott (Canyon DHB Sungod) and Marchand (Tarteletto – Isorex) raced together to create a maximum lead of 2’27”.

New this year was a double passage on the Muur, Bosberg and Congoberg in Geraardsbergen region. The race really started at the first passage. After Campenaerts and Evenepoel, among others, accelerated on the Muur, an elite group rode to the last remaining riders of the early breakaway. At the start of the second lap in Geraardsbergen we had a leading group with: Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), De Gendt (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux), Gilbert and Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Campenaerts (Team Qhubeka Nexthash), Hirschi and McNulty (UAE Team Emirates), De Vylder (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) and Traeen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team).

At the second passage on the Muur it was Gilbert who accelerated. Campenaerts also went on towards the chapel. For early escapees Traeen and De Vylder the pace was too fast, they had to let go. An elite group of seven riders headed for the 2nd climb of the Bosberg and Congoberg, but there were no attacks.

With a lead of 1’40” the leaders started the last 40 km towards the Houba de Strooperlaan in the heart of Brussels. Two more cobbled sections and slope number 9, the Heiligekruiswegstraat, awaited the riders. On the way to those last obstacles of the day, Evenepoel and Campenaerts tried to break away from the leading group, but they weren’t successful.

With 11km to go, it was Evenepoel who made a decisive attack. He left De Gendt behind and took his second victory in just a few days. After winning the Vlaamse Druivenkoers Overijse, Evenepoel was the best in the Brussels Cycling Classic too. Van der Sande took third place on Boulevard Houba de Strooper.