Rising Belgian star Remco Evenepoel bounced back from his disappointing major tour debut to win the Baloise Belgium Tour on Sunday as Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory in the fifth and final stage. Cavendish overtook in-form Belgian Tim Merlier in a back-and-forth final sprint with German Pascal Ackerman third, to claim a 151st career victory. Both Cavendish, a 36-year-old Manxman, and the 21-year-old Evenepoel ride for Belgian team Deceuninck.

Local teams and riders has a good week. The mass finish in Beringen left the top three places in the overall classification unchanged, with an entirely Belgian podium. Evenepoel finished 46 seconds ahead of his Deceuninck Quick Step teammate, Yves Lampaert, with Gianni Marchand, who rides for Belgian team Tarteletto-Isorex, third.

Evenepoel was seriously injured in a crash at the Giro di Lombardia on August 15, 2020, and only made his return to competition for the Giro d’Italia, dropping out after the 17th stage.

“After my comeback and my long, long rehabilitation, hard training and a lot of setbacks as well, it feels amazing,” Evenepoel said. “It shows I’m on the right track to return to my top level.”

He said he plans to compete in Belgian time trial and road race championships, train, “maybe in Spain”, and then head to Japan for the Olympics.

Mark Cavendish (GBR – Deceuninck – Quick-Step) – Dylan Groenewegen (NED – Jumbo – Visma) – Pascal Ackermann (GER – Bora – Hansgrohe)


1 CAVENDISH Mark Deceuninck – Quick Step 3:50:31
2 MERLIER Tim Alpecin-Fenix 0:00
3 ACKERMANN Pascal BORA – hansgrohe 0:00
4 GROENEWEGEN Dylan Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00
5 BOUHANNI Nacer Team Arkéa Samsic 0:00
6 COQUARD Bryan B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:00
7 WEEMAES Sasha Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise 0:00
8 BONIFAZIO Niccolò Team Total Direct Energie 0:00
9 EWAN Caleb Lotto Soudal 0:00
10 VAN POPPEL Danny Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux 0:00



1 EVENEPOEL Remco Deceuninck – Quick Step 15:41:59
2 LAMPAERT Yves Deceuninck – Quick Step 0:46
3 MARCHAND Gianni Tarteletto – Isorex 0:56
4 FISHER-BLACK Finn Team Jumbo-Visma 1:04
5 SCHELLING Ide BORA – hansgrohe 1:08
6 BOUWMAN Koen Team Jumbo-Visma 1:08
7 SWIFT Connor Team Arkéa Samsic 1:12
8 RIESEBEEK Oscar Alpecin-Fenix 1:13
9 AERTS Toon Baloise – Trek Lions 1:13
10 DE BUYST Jasper Lotto Soudal 1:18
Remco Evenepoel (BEL – Deceuninck – Quick-Step) – Yves Lampaert (BEL – Deceuninck – Quick-Step) – Gianni Marchand (BEL – Tarteletto – Isorex)

RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini

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