Kopecky and Evenepoel sprint to Belgian title in Izegem
On Sunday 25 June, the Belgian Road Cycling Championships took place in Izegem and produced two great champions. Among the Women Elite, Lotte Kopecky proved fastest in a mass sprint. World champion Remco Evenepoel beat Alec Segaert in the sprint and thus took the crown of Belgian champion in the Men Elite for the first time.
Izegem welcomed the best of the Belgian cycling world under a bright blue sky. Many supporters were present to cheer on their national heroes at the starting podium. The Women Elite kick-started the festivities. Despite many frantic attempts to establish an early breakaway, we had to wait until the local loop in and around Izegem before we saw the first successful attacks. Among others, Mieke Docx and home rider Justine Ghekiere showed their strengths, but Lotte Kopecky had the race perfectly under control. She held the peloton together and sprinted to her third Belgian tricolour on Ambachtenstraat. Find out the full results in the Women Elite here.
Belgian champion in the rainbow jersey
The Men Elite's race had a lightning-fast start. After one hour of the race, the peloton had covered no fewer than 50 kilometres. The riders had to conquer the Monteberg-Kemmelberg duo three times, which made for an interesting race situation. Wout van Aert and Yves Lampaert accelerated several times on the cobblestones of the Kemmelberg and, together with several other riders, caught up with the leading group. Together, the leaders accumulated a lead of about two minutes on the way to Izegem. That was the cue for the sprinters’ teams in the peloton to put their riders to work.
The lead dwindled, at which point Wout van Aert and local man Lampaert decided to sprint off together. The two of them rode away from the leading group, but it soon became clear that their story would not reach to the finish. At 34 kilometres away from the finish, Remco Evenepoel accelerated a first time. The world champion clearly felt comfortable on the sun-drenched route in Izegem. After several accelerations, only the young Alec Segaert stuck to his wheel. Evenepoel sprinted from the lead to his first Belgian title. View the results of the Men Elite here.