The northern cycling campaign ended today with the Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the triumph of another rising star: last year it was the turn of the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, this year it was the turn of the Belgian Remco Evenepoel, 22 years old, one of the many new generation Eddy Merckx, who in his career has already shown great class.
Evenepoel had turned up at the start this morning to support Julian Alaphilippe, who ended up against a tree and then in the hospital at -60 km, leaving the field open to his teammate.
Evenepoel, ambitious and strong as he is, did not miss the opportunity and took the success, taking the Redoute (a 2 km long wall, with 9% average gradient) and climbing the fugitives one by one, until you reach the roof of the oldest race among the classic monuments.
The last 21 kilometers, Remco faced them at full throttle, pedaling with an unbridled anger and determination. In the end, after several hesitations, the rivals of the young Belgian made a move and started to counterattack, but by now it was too late. Evenepoel gathered courage at every kilometer and flew towards a magnificent victory, which marked his career in a positive way.
The best of the Italians at the finish line was the Tuscan Diego Ulissi, only 22 / o, while Damiano Caruso – who shouldn’t have even been in this race – squeezed himself for the team. Now the Tour of Romandie awaits him. Big party for Philippe Gilber, who won in Liège 11 years ago and who this year was at the last performance of an extraordinary career. Other latest performances await him, before the farewell to active cycling. On the podium, together with Evenepoel, were the compatriots Quinten Hermans, 48 ”late, and Wout van Aert, with the same time as his predecessor.
And. “It’s crazy! My first Liege and victory arrives – the words, between tears, of Evenepoel after the finish -: my dream has come true. It’s the best day for me I wanted to make the race explode on the Redoute and I succeeded, keeping to the finish line. Incredible … I have no words. I closed my favorite race with almost a minute ahead of second, I’m very happy, I hope my teammates who crashed today they recover quickly and well. I thank the fans, they gave me chills. I also thank those who supported me. Last year I had a difficult year: my family, friends, the team, have always believed in me. I can say today that I have returned to my best level, among the best in the world “.