Remco Evenepoel blasted into the Belgian TT tricolore Thursday.
Evenepoel beat defending champion Yves Lampaert and world hour record holder Victor Campanaerts to reconfirm himself as a top contender for the Wollongong worlds time trial in September.
“I now have the Belgian and European jersey,” Evenepoel told Het Laatste Nieuws. “I also want the third.”
The victory sees Evenepoel complete the set of podium finishes at his home nationals after finishing second and third in his past two efforts.
Like countryman Wout van Aert – who was absent Thursday – Evenepoel is one of the few riders in range of double world champion Filippo Ganna in the race against the clock.
“Becoming world champion is a very big goal for the future,” Evenepoel said.
“I still have a lot of time for that. I am a time trial fanatic anyway and I think I have shown that I am among the best in the world in this discipline. But I have to keep developing. I have to keep training on this bike.”
The world championships and a Vuelta a España debut form the center of Evenepoel’s summer calendar. The 31km Alicante time trial will give Evenepoel one last burn before the 34km race for rainbows in Wollongong.
Also read: Evenepoel learns Vuelta lessons in Suisse
“All those hours on that bike don’t lie – it made me feel at one with my bike today. I will definitely continue to do this toward the worlds,” he said. “I want to do everything I can to make Belgium proud and to win that first world time trial title for our country.”
Evenepoel will also line up for the Belgian road race championship this weekend.
Ethan and Leo Hayter dominate in Brit TT defenses
It was another happy day in the Hayter household Thursday.
Ethan Hayter took a huge 1:14 victory over aero aficionado Dan Bigham and EF Education-EasyPost racer James Shaw to continue a sizzling run of early summer form as he hunts a ticket to the Tour de France with Ineos Grenadiers.
“It’s really nice to defend my national title and I’m looking forward to wearing these stripes in Europe,” he said.
“We’ve been pretty lucky with the weather today – perfect weather for a time trial. Hopefully, I’ll win the road race on Sunday, but I’ve got both Bens with me [Tulett and Turner] and they’re both really strong, so we’ll see.”
Also read: Leo Hayter confirms at ‘Baby Giro’
Hagens Berman Axeon rider Leo topped the board in the U23s, less than one week after he blazed to victory at the “Baby Giro.” The 20-year-old will also be in action at the road race Sunday.