The 22-year-old Belgian won the Vuelta a España, becoming the youngest to win it since 1961
LatinAmerican Post| Nicolás Donoso Álvarez
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Leer en español: Remco Evenepoel conquista La Vuelta a España 2022
After 21 stages and just over three weeks of intense competition, the 22-year-old Belgian Remco Evenepoel, a rookie in the competition, has won the 2022 Vuelta a España . Thus, he has become the youngest winner since 1961, when the Spanish Angelino Soler won the tournament. He is also the fourth-youngest champion in history since 1935.
But this has not been the only record that Evenepoel has broken. He has become the second Belgian to win the Vuelta, after his compatriot Freddy Maertens made it possible 45 years ago, when Remco was not yet born.
He led 16 of the 21 stages and this year. In addition to winning the Vuelta a España, he has managed to win other tournaments such as Liège, the San Sebastián Clásica, a stage in the Vuelta a Suisse and three in the Tour of Norway. These results confirm his growth and consolidate a career that does not seem to have a ceiling.
History smiles at Evenepoel, who took his first steps as an athlete in football, playing in the lower categories of Anderlecht in his country and PSV in the Netherlands. In addition, he was selected under 16 for Belgium and played five games, however, the dissatisfaction of being a substitute led him to leave the king report and dedicate himself to cycling in 2017. Five years later, time proved him right.
The tournament started in Utrecht, the Netherlands, where Evenepoel started as the underdog. However, it began to consolidate as the days went by and from the sixth stage, held in Bilbao, Spain, it did not let go of the lead, remaining in first place until the twenty-first stage. This was precisely the culmination of this new edition, which took place in Madrid.
Victorious in the tenth stage and in the eighteenth, at first he had to appreciate how the Dutch Robert Gesink and Mike Teunissen led the general classification in the first two days, to later move to the first position the Italian Edoardo Affini, the Slovenian Primož Roglič and the Frenchman Rudy Molard. But as mentioned before, from the sixth stage to the last, the Belgian was always in first place in the general table.
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Spain Completes the Podium, a Historic Man Says Goodbye
Another country that has reason to celebrate is Spain, since the podium has been closed with two Spaniards among the first three places in the general classification. Enric Mas (Movistar Team), 27 years old, finished in second position, for the third time in his career, and Juan Ayuso, only 19 years old, took third place, thus becoming the second-youngest cyclist in history to get on the podium in a grand tour.
Juan Ayuso should lead Spain in the next big events. This event has meant the retirement of top-level cycling for Alejandro Valverde, who has finished in thirteenth position in the general table and who has participated in his last great race at the Madrid circuit after 133 victories in his record.
At 42 years old, Alejandro Valverde will run on October 8, the last race at the highest level. The classic Giro de Lombardía awaits him, a competition at its level.
Juan Sebastián Molano, Colombian Pride In the Last Stage
The great results of the Vuelta also came to Latin America, the Colombian Juan Sebastián Molano won the last stage of the Vuelta a España 2022, in the 96-kilometre race that was held between Las Rozas and Madrid. This was the first victory for Molano.
On the other hand, another Colombian who stood out in the competition was Miguel Ángel López (Astana Qazaqstan Team). He is considered one of the most outstanding cyclists in Colombia. On this occasion, he did not disappoint and finished in fourth place in the general classification, remaining very close to the coveted podium.
Also on the list are the experienced Colombian cyclist Rigoberto Urán, the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, who finished in fourteenth place, and the coffee grower Sergio Andrés Higuita, who was placed in box 23.