Remco Evenepoel has his biggest rival in the fight for the World Cup on his list. “Birds,” mocked the young Belgian star.
Evenepoel upset the “Angry Birds” at the Road World Championships in Wollongong. Finally, Magpies (magpies) are notorious for attacking cyclists and hikers in the Australian spring.
On Sunday in the most difficult road race over 266.9 kilometers other calibers are waiting. Like Tadej Pogacar. And so it could come to the first big battle of the two child prodigies of cycling. This is the 22-year-old Evenepoel, who just won his first Grand Tour by winning the Vuelta and is considered the biggest promise since the famous Eddy Merckx in his Belgium. There is Pogacar, only 24 years old and already decorated with two Tour de France races and second place this summer.
Duel of child prodigies
Quite a few experts believe that this duel will shape the next decade in cycling. Evenepoel’s fate during the Tour of Lombardy in August 2020 prevented a major clash from happening earlier. He fell over the wall of the bridge and suffered broken bones and pneumonia. It wasn’t until nine months later that he returned to the racetrack.
Evenepoel has long since returned to its old form. He won 14 races in 2022. So it is good that Pogacar did not finish the season after his quiet second place in the tour behind Dane Jonas Vingegaard. “We’re all thinking about the gold medal. I have a chance to win the World Cup. It’s a special race,” said the Slovenian, who recently won the Grand Prix in Montreal.
Enipoel – A sporty all-rounder
That two such talents of the century entered the stage of cycling almost at the same time is unusual. Despite being young, both delivered amazing performances. A football career was actually planned for Evenepoel. As a Belgian national team player, he played for champions RSC Anderlecht.
But even then it became clear that the 16-year-old was very talented. heaven One day after the football game, Evenepoel started the Brussels Half Marathon in 2016 and finished in 13th place in an incredible time of 1:16:15 hours.
The boy from Schepdaal soon lost interest in football and climbed up to his racing bike. Just two years later, Evenepoel, Patrick’s father, also a professional cyclist for a few years, won two championships. The world in juniors.
Pogacar is the second youngest winner in Tour history
Pogacar, meanwhile, is always on the bike. At the age of 9, he rode his first racing bike which was too big and left the older generation behind. At 20 he won three Vuelta stages, something no one else at that age had managed. In 21 years and 365 days, he became the second youngest winner in the history of the tour.
“In my opinion, he’s the best rider in the world,” Evenepoel said recently of his rival, who, like the Belgian, also has a weakness for a difficult one-day race. It is certainly not a coincidence that both of them won the difficult Spring Classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège at a young age. The fight for the rainbow jersey is over.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220923-99-869782/2 (by Stefan Tabeling and Michelle Ostwald, dpa)