Remco Evenepoel wins Vuelta a Espana, first Grand Tour title

Belgian Remco Evenepoel clinched the Vuelta a Espana title on Sunday for his maiden Grand Tour triumph, capping a dominant three weeks with a final push on the final stage from Las Rozas to Madrid won by Juan Sebastian Molano.

The 22-year-old had all but confirmed victory after holding off closest rival Enric Mas on Saturday’s Stage 20 and finished the job with ease as he rode through the Spanish capital flanked by his Quick team-mates -Step Alpha Vinyl.

Mas of Movistar settled for second place overall while Juan Ayuso of UAE Team Emirates completed the podium.

Evenepoel is the first Belgian Grand Tour winner since Johan De Muynck at the 1978 Giro d’Italia and the youngest Vuelta champion since Angelino Soler in 1961.

Molano took the stage victory in a thrilling sprint finale, edging out Trek-Segafredo’s Mads Pedersen and UAE Team Emirates teammate Pascal Ackermann at the line.

But the day belonged to Evenepoel, who never gave up the red jersey after taking the lead on stage six and looked favorites to win the title after defending champion Primoz Roglic, who was regularly closing the gap, slipped away. withdrawn from the race before the 17th stage.

That left Mas as his only challenger, but the Spaniard couldn’t erase the deficit, despite some fiery attacks in the final mountain stages.

Evenepoel dropped out of the 2021 Giro following a crash on stage 17 and failed to medal at the Tokyo Olympics, but bounced back strongly earlier this year with a win in the Clasica de San Sebastian before winning two stages at the Vuelta.

About Walter J. Leslie

Check Also

OneRepublic Announces 2023 Asia Tour Dates

OneRepublic will hold its “Live In Concert” tour in Asia in 2023, with stops in …