Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) opened his 2024 season with a trademark long-distance solo triumph, going it alone 53km from the end of the Figueira Champions Basic.
The Belgian, who took on the second version of the one-day race forward of subsequent week’s Volta ao Algarve, was ‘led out’ by a number of of his QuickStep teammates earlier than leaping away from the peloton with 4 main climbs left to run throughout the closing three laps of the 192.4km race.
UAE Group Emirates tried to chase down the previous world champion, first with Marc Hirschi, then with a sustained solo journey by Isaac Del Toro, after which with their staff on the head of the peloton, however Evenepoel – as he has so usually prior to now – proved to be uncatchable.
As Del Toro dropped again to the peloton 27km from the road, Evenepoel loved a lead of over a minute, and he’d remained untroubled on the run to the end to cross the road for the 51st victory of his profession.
Behind him, tentative strikes had been made within the peloton because the group raced over the ultimate quick and sharp climb of the Enforca Cães and into the flat run to the road. Nevertheless, it was a lowered chase group which got here to the road.
Alpecin-Deceuninck led the group to the end with a mini lead-out prepare, however it was Vito Braet (Intermarché-Wanty) who got here out on prime within the dash for the road leaping off Astana Qazaqstan lead-out Cristian Scaroni’s wheel to pip fellow Astana man Simone Velasco.
The Belgian led dwelling the group at 1:48 down on Evenepoel, whereas Velasco grabbed third forward of Lars Boven (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Marius Mayrhofer (Tudor Professional Biking).
The way it unfolded
Evenepoel’s staff had set the tempo within the peloton for a lot of the day, protecting the break of seven males who had escaped earlier than the difficult hilly circuit in verify.
Out entrance, José Félix Parra (Kern Pharma) and Ibai Azurmendi (Euskaltel-Euskadi) had been joined by Portuguese Continental riders André Carvalho (Sabgal-Anicolar), Alfonso Eulálio (ABTF Betão-Feirense), Bruno Silva (Tavfer-Ovos Matinados-Mortágua), Luís Fernandes (Credibom-LA Alumínios-Marcos Automotive), and Hugo Nunes (Rádio Common-Paredes-Boavista).
The group’s benefit reached a most of 5 minutes at one level, however with Soudal-QuickStep on a mission, that they had no probability of constructing the end line to contest the win.
In the long run, the break barely made it to the ending circuit earlier than being swept up by the peloton at 80km from the road. From then on the latter a part of the ‘launch Evenepoel’ plan was enacted, with Soudal-QuickStep pulling off a long-range lead-out for his or her chief.
He pulled the set off at 53km to go together with solely Hirschi in a position to supply any resistance within the quick aftermath of the assault. The Swiss rider quickly dropped again, although, leaving his teammate Del Toro to make the subsequent try to bridge throughout.
The 20-year-old lasted longer within the chase, making it into the ultimate 30km earlier than giving up the ghost. With Evenepoel already over a minute up the street, the prospects of constructing the catch had been hopeless, even with a sizeable group chasing.
All that was left was to attend for him to race to the road and have a good time yet one more large solo victory, as a while later, the stays of the chase sprinted for the ultimate podium spots.
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