“He stood head and shoulders above the rest. The best of the race won," Merckx told Het Laatste Nieuws after seeing his compatriot cross the line alone to take a maiden World title in the Elite ranks. "I enjoyed watching it, specially the way he pulled it off. It couldn’t be better.”
“Axel [Merckx] already was sure with 50 to kilometres to go. It took me a little longer. But when Remco shook Lutsenko off on Mount Pleasant, 25 kilometres from the finish, I knew he will be World Champion," he continued.
As Belgium played their cards right, they managed to support Evenepoel when we went on the counter-attack in a move with around 60 kilometers to go, and the Quick-Step surprised in the flat section of the circuit to get the winning gap.
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“Of course he has to decide that himself, but... the Tour? Why not, huh? That is the biggest Grand Tour of all,” he continued, being asked on what the new World Champion could target in the future. Possibly, the five monuments of cycling, Merckx questioned.
"Of course he is not the fastest sprinter. He will therefore have to finish alone in Milano-Sanremo. Paris-Roubaix will not be an easy task either. But maybe, at a later age, it is possible," he concluded.