At 22, Remco Evenepoel won the Vuelta, but the cyclist excels in several other sports

At 22, Remco Evenepoel won the Vuelta, but the cyclist excels in several other sports

At 22, Remco Evenepoel won the Vuelta, but the cyclist excels in several other sports

Former hope of Belgian football, author of an exceptional half marathon at the age of 16, Remco Evenepoel has always distinguished himself in sport with incredible athletic abilities. This Sunday, 11 September 2022, he won his first Grand Tour at the age of 22.

“It’s the best day of my life.” The emotion is great by Remco Evenepoel. At 22, the Belgian has just made world cycling history by winning the Tour of Spain, this Sunday, September 11, 2022. He thus puts an end to more than 44 years of Belgian cycling shortage in a Grand Tour. It happens to Johan de Muynck, winner of the Giro d’Italia in 1978.

The beginnings in football

Nothing, however, has destined the young Remco to cycling. At the age of 5, he dedicated himself to football and the youth teams of Anderlecht club, an institution in Belgium. Very quickly he was spotted by PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) and the Royal Belgian FA, the Belgian football federation. The native of Schepdael (province of Flemish Brabant) also plays several matches with the national team under 15, under 16 and under 17.

In addition to his early career in football, Remco Evenepoel excels in running. Whoever breaks all the speed and endurance records of the Anderlecht club also participates in some half marathons. He also achieved a “stratospheric” time in the semifinal in Brussels in 2016 with a time of 1 hour and 16 minutes, at just 16 years old.

Enrolled in this same event, his football coach Stéphane Stassin tells an anecdote that sums up Evenepoel well: “I saw some Kenyans pass then the young Remco who must have been seventh or eighth. We had played the day before and I had asked the players to rest. But apparently having a whole match in his legs before running a half marathon didn’t bother him … “

“The new Merckx”

Sidelined by Anderlecht at 17 in 2017, Remco Evenepoel then dropped the round ball for the handlebar. An environment that is not alien to the young Belgian, being his father a former professional. It takes him one year to make a name for himself in the world of cycling. In 2018 he dominated the junior category by winning all possible time trial and road titles: world, European and Belgian champion. He was then quickly nicknamed “The new Merckx”, ” the phenomenon “ or “The little cannibal”. His performance obviously did not go unnoticed and he signed his first professional contract in 2019 with the Deceuninck Quick-Step team.

The successes were not long in coming with a new title of European champion in the time trial among the “greats” and a first victory in a great Classic, the Classica San Sebastián.

Read also: From the ravine in Lombardy to the coronation in Madrid, 24 months that marked the success of Evenepoel

Three years later, the Belgian prodigy once again distinguished himself in Spain. Remco Evenepoel’s fabulous story is not about to end.

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