Team News: Evenepoel Makes History

Clasica San Sebastian: Remco Evenepoel rides into the history books as the 19 year old became the youngest ever rider to triumph in a World Tour race

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Team News: Evenepoel Makes History

At 19 years and 190 days, the Belgian became the youngest ever rider to triumph in a World Tour race

©David Ramos/ Getty Images

Remco Evenepoel kept hitting new heights and showed the depth of his talent once again, when he pulled off a massive performance on Saturday afternoon against a star-studded field. A debutant in a World Tour one-day race, Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s neo-pro soloed to an unforgettable victory at the 39th edition of Clasica San Sebastian, which took the bunch over a demanding 227.3km-long course littered with seven climbs, featuring narrow roads and excruciating gradients.

“I really can’t believe was has just happened, I didn’t expect it! It’s unbelievable! Winning this race was one of my dreams and now that I have done this, at my very first participation, all I can say is that it’s just incredible and wonderful”, an overwhelmed Remco said after being congratulated by teammate Enric Mas, who finished eighth from a select group that came home more than half a minute behind the prodigious Belgian.

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Remco Evenepoel’s last 25 kilometers at Clasica San Sebastian, where he started as the youngest rider in the peloton, were as impressive as his magnificent victory that earned him the plaudits: dropped on the Mendizorrotz climb, he chased hard on the descent, joined the peloton just as the road flattened out despite having a half a minute deficit, and then responded to an attack of Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo), with 20 kilometers left.

Surprisingly for many, the duo’s gap escalated quickly and by the time they arrived at the bottom of the ludicrously steep Murgil Tontorra (2.1km, 10.1%), they were nearly 50 seconds clear, despite a concerted effort of several teams. On this bruiser of a climb, Evenepoel put in an amazing work-rate, ensuring the gap wouldn’t go down, before dislodging his companion and pushing the pedal to the metal. Meanwhile, not far behind, Wolfpack teammate Enric Mas was doing a superb job shutting down attacks from the favourites’ group.

©David Ramos/ Getty Images

“On the narrow roads before the penultimate climb I lost a few positions and that’s why I was distanced, but in the downhill I went extremely fast and managed to come back. Then I decided to attack so I could be in front on the last climb and help Enric. But we went full gas and found out that we had a significant advantage at the start of the hill, so I kept going, while Enric did a marvellous job countering the moves”, Remco explained when asked how the race unfolded on Murgil Tontorra.

After storming away on the climb and keeping his buffer nearly intact, the 19-year-old absolutely bossed the descent taking to the famous Boulevard in the center of San Sebastian and entered the final kilometer with enough seconds in hand to celebrate in disbelief the biggest victory of his career so far, the 38 seconds between him and the runner-up being the largest gap in two decades at the prestigious one-day race.

“I came here for the experience and all of the sudden, with less than 20 kilometers to go, I was there fighting for victory. In the last 3-4 kilometers I had tears in my eyes and it was all very emotional, because I realised that this was going to be one big and important moment of my career. I still can’t believe it, it’s something incredible and I will need a few days for everything to sink in. It’s been a great race for us and I want to thank everyone in the team for the confidence they always give me and their fantastic support”, said Remco, now the third-youngest rider in history to win a Classic.

Following his fourth victory of what is a stellar neo-pro season, Evenepoel talked of his next appointment, which comes in just a few days: “I will take part next week in the time trial race at the European Championships, another important event that I get to discover. I don’t know what to expect, but I am motivated to go there and give my best. I am also very happy that I will ride for the first time in a race on the new Specialized Shiv equipped with disc brakes. I have used it in training and it’s incredibly fast, and this makes me super eager to ride it in an official competition.”

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Greg Van Avermaet (CCC): “I am happy with how the race went today. I think I did the race that I had to do which was to try to survive on the climbs and then do a good sprint at the end of the day so, I think that worked out pretty well. The new steep climb was hard but I was able to survive it and I managed the race well, I was always in a good position and finished it off with second place which is a really good result at San Sebastián. Of course, winning is always better but, I think to take something out of the race in these circumstances and to be on the podium of a WorldTour race is always good.”

“Sprinting after a long and hard race has always been one of my strong points. It’s not come out as many times as I would have liked so far this year but, I still believe in it and I think that is also one of my strengths as a rider. Today, I was really counting on my sprint and we saw that I was able to have a good one at the end. While my sprint today wasn’t for first, it is important to always race for the best result possible.”

Marc Hirschi: “Today was a long race at almost 230 kilometres,” explained Hirschi at the finish. “The pace was pretty hard on the climbs and it was difficult before the finale. On the third last climb the bunch really sped up and it was already reduced; I felt quite good at that point. The penultimate climb was the really steep one and the pace was high there too. There were about 30 guys left going into the last climb. I had a good feeling and knew that the last climb was short and steep; it suited me so I tried to go all out with the best over the top. In the group I knew I had quite a good sprint so I followed Greg’s wheel as he was the fastest guy; it was a good decision and I finished third. I’m really happy with today! The team did a good job during the race and overall it was a really good day for us.

1 Remco Evenepoel Deceuninck – Quick Step 05:44:28
2 Greg Van Avermaet CCC Team 38
3 Marc Hirschi Team Sunweb
4 Gorka Izagirre Astana Pro Team
5 Bauke Mollema Trek – Segafredo
6 Patrick Konrad Bora – Hansgrohe
7 Jelle Vanendert Lotto – Soudal
8 Enric Mas Deceuninck – Quick Step
9 Michael Woods EF Education First
10 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team
11 Giulio Ciccone Trek – Segafredo
12 Rudy Molard Groupama – FDJ
13 Toms Skujins Trek – Segafredo 41
14 Hugh Carthy EF Education First @46
15 Edward Dunbar Team Ineos 56
16 Julien Simon Cofidis, Solutions Credits
17 Roman Kreuziger Team Dimension Data
18 Mark Padun Bahrain – Merida
19 Pello Bilbao Astana Pro Team
20 Simon Clarke EF Education First
21 Valentin Madouas Groupama – FDJ
22 Gregor Muhlberger Bora – Hansgrohe
23 Brent Bookwalter Mitchelton – Scott
24 Lucas Hamilton Mitchelton – Scott
25 Sepp Kuss Team Jumbo – Visma
26 Dries Devenyns Deceuninck – Quick Step
27 Anthony Roux Groupama – FDJ
28 Sergey Chernetski Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
29 Anthony Perez Cofidis, Solutions Credits
30 Julien Bernard Trek – Segafredo
31 Jonathan Castroviejo Team Ineos
32 Daniel Martin UAE Team Emirates
33 Jonathan Caicedo EF Education First
34 Omar Fraile Astana Pro Team
35 Tony Gallopin AG2R La Mondiale
36 Jonathan Lastra Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
37 Oscar Rodriguez Euskadi Basque – Murias
38 Floris De Tier Team Jumbo – Visma
39 Alex Aranburu Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
40 Mikkel Honore Deceuninck – Quick Step
41 Mikel Iturria Euskadi Basque – Murias
42 Lawrence Warbasse AG2R La Mondiale
43 Jens Keukeleire Lotto – Soudal
44 Jan Bakelants Team Sunweb
45 Dion Smith Mitchelton – Scott
46 Jaakko Hänninen AG2R La Mondiale
47 Davide Villella Astana Pro Team
48 Stéphane Rossetto Cofidis, Solutions Credits
49 Rui Costa UAE Team Emirates
50 Aurélien Paret-Peintre AG2R La Mondiale
51 Jay McCarthy Bora – Hansgrohe
52 Kenny Elissonde Team Ineos
53 Jan Polanc UAE Team Emirates
54 Joey Rosskopf CCC Team
55 Ruben Guerreiro Team Katusha – Alpecin
56 Riccardo Zoidl CCC Team
57 Cristian Rodriguez Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
58 Louis Meintjes Team Dimension Data
59 Nicolas Roche Team Sunweb
60 Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
61 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team
62 Andrey Amador Movistar Team
63 Nans Peters AG2R La Mondiale
64 Victor De La Parte CCC Team
65 Niklas Eg Trek – Segafredo
66 Johannes Fröhlinger Team Sunweb
67 Willie Smit Team Katusha – Alpecin
68 François Bidard AG2R La Mondiale
69 Fernando Barcelo Aragon Euskadi Basque – Murias
70 Garikoitz Bravo Euskadi Basque – Murias
71 Alexandr Riabushenko UAE Team Emirates
72 Cyril Barthe Euskadi Basque – Murias
73 Jonas Gregaard Astana Pro Team
74 Damien Touzé Cofidis, Solutions Credits
75 Markel Irizar Trek – Segafredo
76 Jetse Bol Burgos – BH
77 Diego Rubio Hernandez Burgos – BH
78 Koen Bouwman Team Jumbo – Visma
79 Jacques Janse Van Rensburg Team Dimension Data
80 Joel Nicolau Beltran Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
81 Nicolas Sessler Burgos – BH



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