On a 54 kilometre, hilly course on winding roads, Evenepoel set the best time and guaranteed himself a place in the hot seat with about 10 riders to go. He was only beaten by Australia's Rohan Dennis, who made his comeback on the highest level after leaving the Tour de France, after a row with his team.
Dennis (29) was 1 minute and 8 seconds faster than his 19-year-old Belgian challenger, who skipped the U23 category to make his grand debut with the men's elite after winning the junior gold last year. Evenepoel, who was born in Schepdaal (Flemish Brabant), finished ahead of Italy's Filippo Ganna.
It's the first time Belgium clinches a silver medal in this particular event. There could have been a bronze medal as well, but Victor Campenaerts (bottom photo) crashed and had a technical problem later on. Yves Lampaert had also made a good start, but he crashed as well between Northallerton and Harrogate.