Remco Evenepoel didn’t miss a beat in his return to competition after a spring break to kick to victory Tuesday in the opening stage at the Tour of Norway.
The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl star jumped with 300 meters to go to in the uphill finale to win for the fifth time in 2022 and land the GC lead.
“I am happy to return to competition with a victory and delighted that I had the legs to kick out and make the difference when it mattered,” said Evenepoel, marking his 27th pro win. “It’s always great to start a race like this, especially when I think this is the first time that I won an uphill sprint. We know it won’t be easy, but we’ll try to defend the orange jersey in the coming days.”
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The victory pushes Quick-Step atop the WorldTour league in number of wins so far in 2022, with 23.
The Norway tour marks the return to competition for Evenepoel, racing for the first time since winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
“It was one of the most beautiful days on my bike, in my life,” Evenepoel said of Liège. “I won’t have many days in my career that go that well and I had to maximize on feeling that good.
“I couldn’t help but cry myself and all of the emotions came out in that moment,” Evenepoel said of the big win. “The team had a difficult spring and I hope that this victory can give everyone a boost for the rest of the season.
“For everybody involved it was a big relief because we are known as a classics team and even though we still won two, it wasn’t the season we had been expecting, and hopefully now we can push on.”
Evenepoel is slated to race the Tour de Suisse and race his second grand tour at the Vuelta a España in August.
— Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team (@qst_alphavinyl) May 24, 2022