Journey to happiness: Remco Evenpoel in Australia
Dirk Waem / dpa
Young Belgian star Remco Evenepoel won the road race title at the World Cycling Championships in Australia.
The 22-year-old clinched victory on Sunday after 266.9 kilometers in Wollongong after a solo ride ahead of Frenchman Christophe Laporte and Australian Michael Matthews.
Evenpoel had won the Vuelta just two weeks ago.
Evenepoel, who succeeded Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, is thus moving more and more in the footsteps of his legendary compatriot Eddy Merckx, who also won his first world title in 1967 at the age of 22.
Van der Poel only released on bail
The Dutch co-favourite, Mathieu van der Poel, got off his bike after just 35 kilometers after causing a scandal the night before and being arrested in the meantime for assaulting a hotel.
There had been an altercation with two children who had knocked on his door several times.
A girl's arm was reportedly injured.
The 27-year-old was charged with two counts of assault and released on bail early Sunday morning.
'There was a little argument.
I wasn't back in my room until four o'clock, which of course isn't ideal.
It's a disaster, but I can't change it anymore," van der Poel told the Belgian TV station Sporza before the start.
Germany remains without a medal
As expected, the German drivers played no role in the World Championship race.
Georg Zimmermann, who was most likely to be able to place in the front, fell 74 kilometers before the finish line.
So there was no medal for the Federation of German Cyclists in the elite races.
On Saturday, despite a strong performance, Liane Lippert narrowly missed out on a podium place by finishing fourth in the women's race when Annemiek van Vleuten from the Netherlands won.
The 24-year-old from Friedrichshafen also finished fourth in the mixed team time trial with the German team.