Evenepoel takes European time trial gold "for the stars in the sky"

The young Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel has won the time trial at the European Championships in Alkmaar (Netherlands). It was an emotional victory, which he dedicated to some cyclists who passed away. "This is not my victory, but the victory of Bjorg Lambrecht and Stef Loos."

In the build-up to the time trial, Evenepoel had told reporters he wanted to win "for the stars in the sky", a reference to some cyclists who died: Bjorg Lambrecht in the first place, but also his former team mate Stef Loos and Igor De Craene, a former junior time trial world champion. Evenepoel was extra motivated to win to dedicate a possible victory to them. 

The course around Alkmaar was flat as a pancake. Evenepoel, in top shape after winning the Clasica San Sebastian last weekend, managed an average speed of almost 54 kilometres per hour. Having started relatively early for a favourite, he was in the "hot seat" for a long time as the virtual winner, to check whether anyone would beat his time. But nobody did. Evenepoel was seen hiding his face in his hands as he was fighting back his tears. 

"This is not my victory, but Bjorg Lambrecht's and Stef Loos' victory", Evenepoel told reporters. When I thought of them, it gave me extra strentgh. Evenepoel is only 19 years old. It was his first championship race with the 'big guys', but immediately bull's eye. Denmark's Kasper Asgreen came second, 18 seconds behind the winner. 

2019 Getty Images
2019 Getty Images
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