Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Remco Evenepoel claimed victory at the stage 2 time trial at the Baloise Belgium Tour.
Evenepoel began the day as favourite for the stage, and was able to hold off a challenge from his teammate Yves Lampaert, and leads Lampaert by 45 seconds in the overall standings.
The pair of Deceuninck-QuickStep cyclists dominated the day, and were 18 seconds ahead of Finn Fisher-Black (Jumbo-Visma), who managed a third-place finish after the flat 11.2km Knokke-Heist route.
Evenepoel hits back at Merckx criticism
- Peloton, leader Chaves both take different wrong turns at Tour de Suisse
- Tadej Pogacar solos to victory in Tour od Slovenia stage two
- Stefan Bissegger claims stage four at Tour de Suisse, Mathieu van der Poel retains lead
Fisher-Black is now fourth overall, 61 seconds back from Evenepoel. One of Evenepoel’s anticipated rivals for the victory, Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka Assos) had withdrawn overnight after problems with cramps.
The win was the 21-year-old's first since last August, leaving him understandably thrilled after the race.
“I can’t put into words how happy I am!" he said afterwards. "This winning feeling is something that was missing since last year’s Tour de Pologne and I am relieved that I took the stage today.
"I went through some difficult months with the rehabilitation, so it feels quite nice to win in this discipline that I love so much and contribute to the team’s superb tally.
Everyone here supported and believed in me, and for that I am grateful
Evenepoel and the rest of the pack will move onto Friday’s third stage, with the Belgian now considered an even more clear favourite.
Belgian fans can dream of having it all once more - thanks to Van Aert and Evenepoel
Ganna defends world TT title after thrilling battle with Van Aert