Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Remco Evenepoel claimed victory at the stage 2 time trial at the Baloise Belgium Tour.
Evenepoel began the day as favourite for the stage, and was able to hold off a challenge from his teammate Yves Lampaert, and leads Lampaert by 45 seconds in the overall standings.
The pair of Deceuninck-QuickStep cyclists dominated the day, and were 18 seconds ahead of Finn Fisher-Black (Jumbo-Visma), who managed a third-place finish after the flat 11.2km Knokke-Heist route.
Fisher-Black is now fourth overall, 61 seconds back from Evenepoel. One of Evenepoel’s anticipated rivals for the victory, Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka Assos) had withdrawn overnight after problems with cramps.
The win was the 21-year-old’s first since last August, leaving him understandably thrilled after the race.
“I can’t put into words how happy I am!" he said afterwards. "This winning feeling is something that was missing since last year’s Tour de Pologne and I am relieved that I took the stage today.
"I went through some difficult months with the rehabilitation, so it feels quite nice to win in this discipline that I love so much and contribute to the team’s superb tally.Evenepoel and the rest of the pack will move onto Friday’s third stage, with the Belgian now considered an even more clear favourite.