Julian Alaphilippe broke Belgian hearts ion the last day of competition Leuven to successfully defend his World title in a pulsating race. The home riders failed to even make the podium as Julian attacked the 9 percent ascent at the 21 kilometer mark. Credit is definitely due to his French teammates who led the breakaway of about 17 riders with 75 km to go. The absence of radio communication meant coordination between teammates wasn’t as smooth as it should be. Bike cars became essential for information on where to attack or who should be the leading rider. I reckon that was the Belgians’ undoing in this race.
Remco Evenepoel ran the race of his life leading the Belgian riders until he dropped off to make way for Wout Van Aert to finish the race strongly. It was the worst kept secret that Wout is the Belgians’ best rider. Alaphilippe read that to the tee and burst at the gradient almost as soon as Remco dropped back. With the course at a punishing 265 km from Antwerp to Leuven(Nice scenery by the way), there was no way any of the leading peloton could catch up with the Frenchman. Tom Pidcock gave a good go at it for Great Britain but the youngster couldn’t make the podium, one to watch in the future. Belgium finished fourth with Jasper Stuyven being the highest placed behind the impressive Dutch who won silver through Dylan Van Baarle. Michael Valgren of Denmark won bronze. The crashes in such a competitive race were to be expected. Just look at the one with 40 seconds on the clip, rider trying to call out a teammate at the back of the peloton, loses concentration. Another by product of the lack of radios.