French star Julian Alaphilippe rode to his second consecutive world road race title on Sunday, in Flanders, Belgium.
“Alapanache” attacked on the Leuven circuit some 20km from the finish, and despite the chase led by the British, Belgians, Italians, and Dutch, he soloed to the win.
Neilson Powless rode to fifth — the best finish for an American since 2011.
Casey B. Gibson was on the scene, near the top of the Leuven climb, to capture the action.
One fan couldn’t decide between drinking his beer and waving the flag — so he did both.
A Brooklyn Chewing Gum replica jersey made an appearance on the course, in Leuven.
Fans shouted encouragement to Mark Cavendish as he (slowly) made his way up the climb.
Mathieu van der Poel fans were on the road during the night, leaving hundreds of messages for “The King.”
Getting them started early: A Dutch fan introduced his son to the crazy world of cycling.
The peloton, with Alaphilippe tucked in the front row, made its way up a climb early in the race.
Wout van Aert lead the chase after another searing Alaphilippe attack.
Local hero Remco Evenpoel, his work done for the day, made his way up the climb.
A sea of flags and banners lined the course around Leuven.
Nathan Haas thanked the fans for their support with a wheelie on his way out of the race.
Robin Carpenter looked to be enjoying the fan-friendly atmosphere on the Wijnpers climb.
Carpenter and Quinn Simmons were dropped early on the Leuven circuits.
Lawson Craddock was chasing in the second group on the road.
Matteo Jorgenson couldn’t help but smile at the cheering fans, in spite of his suffering on the climb.
Neilson Powless chased down the Alaphilippe break. He went on to catch the small, final selection group.
Powless ultimately finished in fifth place — the best American placing since 2011.
The peloton rounds the corner at the top of the Wijnpers climb, in front of nearly 10,000 fans.
After winning the junior world championship in Yorkshire in 2019, Quinn Simmons moved up to the elite men’s road race in 2021.
On his way out of the race, Quinn Simmons slaped hands with roadside fans.
Julian Alaphilippe’s successful attack on penultimate climb of Wijnpers Street.
Alaphilippe celebrated his second consecutive — and totally dominating — world championship ride.
Winning a world championship was not as easy as Alaphilippe made it look when he crossed the finish line.
A Belgian fan was quite excited about the racing in Leuven.
The sprint for second place was won by Dylan van Baarle. Neilson Powless of the United States (center) took fifth.
With a boost from dad, a young fan watched the podium ceremony.
The elite men’s world championship podium of (left to right) Dylan Van Baarle with silver, gold-medalist Julian Alaphilippe, and bronze-medalist Michael Valgren Hundahl.