The 20-year-old Belgian Remco Evenepoel won alone in the climb to Picón Blanco, the first mountain test in the resumption of the cycling season, in the third stage of the Vuelta a Burgos.
Evenepoel, winner with a twenty seconds advantage over New Zealander George Bennett, took the controls of the general of the test, which will end on Saturday. The Belgian phenomenon shone on the last climb, limited to 7.8 kilometers but with an average gradient of 9.3%.
Evenepoel, who went on the attack two kilometers from the top, increased the differences compared to other favorites. The Spanish Mikel Landa, third of the stage, was thirty seconds ahead of him, while the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz about fifty, in this first of the two goals in height of this Vuelta a Burgos.
The Belgian, winner of the Clásica de San Sebastián last year in his first season in the professional peloton, masterfully answered the questions about his level in the mountains. He thus confirmed that he can be one of the great protagonists of the next Giro, the first big round of his career.
«The last kilometers were very difficult. There was head wind but everyone had that head wind. I was going to the limit (of strength), but if you don’t try, you won’t win », explained the young Belgian at the end of the stage.
On Friday, the sprinters will have a chance on the fourth and penultimate stage, of 163 kilometers, between Bodegas Nabal (Gumiel de Izán) and Roa de Duero.