Teenage sensation Remco Evenepoel produced a superb individual performance to lead Deceuninck - Quick-Step to victory in the Hammer Climb at Hammer Limburg on Friday.
The 19-year-old Belgian crossed the finishing line first five out of nine times and finished second on three others occasions to leave his team with a dominant total of 1,067 points.
CCC Team finished second on 723 points, while Lotto Soudal were third on 687 points.
Evenepoel formed part of an early breakaway group by following an attack from Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) on lap two, which the reigning junior world road and time trial champion went on to win.
After being pipped into second place on the next three laps by Maciej Bodnar (BORA-hansgrohe), Evenepoel decided to switch tactics and took off on a solo attack with a daunting 30 km still to race.
It looked an ambitious move at first, but after winning lap six, he continued to push on and opened up a lead of more than a minute on a chase group containing seasoned pros such as Van Avermaet, Bodnar, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy).
Evenepoel impressively managed to hold the advantage in the closing laps and comfortably won each of them to round off one of the finest individual displays seen at the Hammer Series.
Remco Evenepoel: ”The team asked me to take as many points as possible today and that’s what I did. At one point my sports director told me that I only had to watch out for BORA-hansgrohe but when the small group came back together, there was a bit of hesitation and I thought that ‘now is the moment to go solo’. Nobody reacted and I started to get away. It was full gas the whole time. Even on the descents because of the headwind. It was a very hard day out there.”
Coming up next at Hammer Limburg:
Saturday, June 8, 15:00 – 17:00 CEST:
The Hammer Sprint circuit both starts and finishes at the Tom Dumoulin Bike Park in Sittard. It’s a predominantly flat course of 12.4 km, which the teams will cover eight times, sprinting for points every time they cross the finishing line.
Sunday, June 9, 15:00 – 17:00 CEST:
The big finale comes with the Hammer Chase, a team time trial pursuit taking place over four laps on the same 12.4 km circuit used for the Hammer Sprint. This is the moment of truth. The first team in the Finalist Group to cross the finishing line will win Hammer Limburg.
How to watch:
The Hammer Series is free to watch at the following sites:
Hammer Series website: https://www.hammerseries.com/watch-live
Hammer Series on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HammerSeries
Hammer Series on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HammerSeries
Hammer Series on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/HammerSeriesAllOut
If you’re traditional and want to watch on TV, you’ll find all the channels showing the Hammer Series on this page.
Share the excitement:
The official hashtags for Hammer Limburg are #HammerSeries and #HammerLimburg. We encourage everybody to share their excitement and Hammer experiences on social media throughout the event.
Photo: Karen M. Edwards