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A brilliant triumph for Evenpool in the WC group tour; Liepiņš enters the top 60 / Diena & More Latest News Here


If the past few days in the city of Wollongong, which is located near Sydney, there were very wet and rainy weather conditions, the situation was much better on the day of the men’s elite championship. The sun was shining and the air warmed up to +20 degrees Celsius during the day.

169 cyclists from 50 countries took part in the elite men’s group race. The honor of Latvia was defended by Emīls Liepiņš, a student of the Dobele cycling school, Latvian champion and winner of the 14th place of the European Championship. The cyclist representing the “Trek – Segafredo” team on a daily basis has started the second half of the season quite successfully, regularly scoring UCI points in one-day and multi-day cycling races.

The roles of the main favorites were given to the world champion of the last two years, Gilliens Alaphilips, Belgians Remko Evenpool and Vout van Aart, Slovenian Tadej Pogachar and Dutchman Matej van der Pool.

Cyclists covered a distance of 266.9 kilometers. The first 60 kilometers led to city circles. During this time, the day’s departure was also completed. In this championship, the leader group was significantly stronger than other times. Our Emīls Liepiņš was also very active in the beginning, who was able to get involved in the day’s breakout.

Along with Emil, there were 15 other athletes, including Pavel Shivakov representing France, Australian Ben O’Connor, as well as drivers from Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Slovenia, none of whom were among the leaders of their countries, but important factors in shaping the result.

The lead over the peloton extended to a couple of seven minutes, with a tendency to decrease as the last 100 kilometers began. The city circuit included one distinct climb, which tired the legs and body of the riders more and more with each lap. The length of the climb reached a little more than a kilometer, but the percentage of steepness is impressive, reaching as much as 18 percent.

The turning point came with just over 70 kilometers to go. On the climb from the peloton, which at that time was about two minutes away from Liepiņš’s group, a large leader group of 20 riders left, including such stars as Remko Evenpool, Aleksei Lutsenko, Romain Bardet, Jay Hindley and others. Meanwhile, there was neither Alaphilip, nor van Aart, nor Pogachar in this company.

As expected, Evenpool’s group caught up with Emīls Liepiņš’s group, which had become significantly smaller in number. Much to the joy of Latvian sports friends, Liepiņš, unlike several of his teammates, was able to continue the race in the leading group. At one point the big group was close to 1 minute and 30 seconds, but then Evenpool had its say. The young Belgian superstar initially broke away with the Kazakh Lutsenko, but then also ran away from him.

Being in the solo lead, there was never a moment of doubt about the Belgian’s chances of winning. The closest followers were divided into many small groups and serious cooperation to catch the flying Belgian did not follow.

The 22-year-old Evenpool safely led his leadership to a natural victory. Remko is thus the seventh youngest world champion of all time. He spent 6 hours 16 minutes and 8 seconds at the distance.

In the fight for second place, Lutsenko was overtaken by a large group of four athletes in the last two kilometers. All five of the closest followers started tactical battles in the last kilometer, which allowed this company to catch up with the next group. Christophe Laporte won the runner-up title for France in the sprint to the finish, while Michael Mathews secured bronze for the home team.

Emīls Liepiņš ran one great race. As the only athlete from his country, he was not only excellent in the day’s breakaway, but also demonstrated the ability of a great wrestler after catching up. For a long time, Emil rode in the same group with van Aart and Alafilipa, who were significantly fresher than the Latvian. At the finish, our athlete came in 58th place, 4 minutes and 50 seconds behind the winner.

It should be noted that the sports doctor of the Latvian Olympic team, Jānis Kaupe, and the sports director, head of the delegation, Linards Veide, provided great support to the athlete during and before the competition. Significant support was also received from the Latvian Olympic team and the Embassy of Latvia in Australia.

World Championship in road cycling in group race for elite men (169 participants) 266 km:

1. Remco Evenpoel, Belgium, 06:16:08

2. Cristophe Laporte, France, +00:02:21

3. Michael Matthews, Australia, +00:02:21

4. Wout Van Aert, Belgium, +00:02:21

5. Matteo Trentin, Italy, +00:02:21

6. Alexander Kristoff, Norway, +00:02:21

58. Emīls Liepiņš, Latvia, +00:04:50

A brilliant triumph for Evenpool in the WC group tour; Liepiņš enters the top 60 / Diena
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