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Remco Evenepoel wins world road race title after Mathieu van der Poel gets arrested

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Remco Evenepul
Remco Evenepul

WOLLONGONG, Australia. Two weeks after he became the first Belgian Grand Tour winner in 44 years, Remco Evenepul became the first world champion in men’s elite road racing in his country in a decade, ending his breakthrough season.

Evenepoel won the Vuelta a España Grand Tour two weeks ago and once again dominated Sunday’s 266.9km race, pulling away with 25km to go for a decisive victory.

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The 22-year-old spread his arms in celebration, crossed the line alone and became the first Belgian since. Philippe Gilbert in 2012 to win the cycling world road race.

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He became the first driver to win a Grand Tour and a World Championship road race in the same year after the American Greg LeMond in 1989, according to Gracenote.

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french rider Christophe Laporte finished second after winning the group sprint behind Evenepool. Australian Michael Matthews took bronze as the pursuing pack finished two minutes and 21 seconds behind the Belgian.

The race included 12 laps on a 17km finish track in Wollongong, a coastal city south of Sydney.

The early breaks gave the peloton a full eight minutes, but they never looked menacing.

In the last 40 kilometers, the pace picked up and the front group began to move away. On the penultimate lap, Evenepol and the Kazakh rider Alexey Lutsenko pulled away and built a slight advantage.

The Belgian star, who won the classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège one-day race earlier this season, pulled away from Lutsenko on the penultimate climb of the difficult climb of Mount Pleasant and never met an obstacle on his way to a dominant victory.

compatriot Wooth Van Aert just missed the podium in fourth place.

Before the race, news broke that the Dutch star Matthieu van der Puelone of the men’s race favorites, was arrested and charged by police with an alleged attack on the team’s hotel early Sunday morning.

Police took van der Poel into custody following an incident at the team’s hotel involving an altercation with two teenage girls while he was trying to sleep.

Van der Poel received permission to start the race but withdrew shortly thereafter.

Saturday 39 year old Annemiek van Vleuten overcame a broken elbow three days earlier to win her second road racing world title with an attack in the last 600 meters that took the other eight leaders to naps.

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