2022 will therefore have been the almost perfect year for Remco Evenepoel.
After notably Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Classica San Sebastián and the Tour of Spain, the Belgian prodigy won his first World Championship title in Australia.
Ten years after the last Belgian success, that of Philippe Gilbert.
True to his offensive tactics, Evenepoel tried his luck 72 km from the finish.
The French, who were playing the card of collective strength, erred by letting him interfere in a counter-attack group and leaving their best chances, Cosnefroy and Madouas, bogged down in the peloton.
Despite everything, they saved their day with a second place in the sprint of Christophe Laporte, far behind Evenepoel.
Alaphilippe, he was never able to influence the race.
At 22, Evenepoel is not the youngest world champion in history since another Belgian, Karel Kaers, winner in 1934 was crowned at the age of 20 years 2 months and 15 days.
But Evenepoel will still have other opportunities to mark the history of his sport.
Here is, in four acts, the summary of this race:
Bardet lights the first wick
The French, like last year in Louvain, decided to take the keys to the race from the start.
Romain Bardet attacks at 217 terminals from the finish with Wout Van Aert in the wheel.
A group of 30 including Madouas, Bardet, Armirail among the French and Tadej Pogacar take up to 2′30′ ahead.
Sivakov continues the work
The big breakaway of the day is taking shape 170 kilometers from the line with a group of 16 men who have a lead of more than 7 minutes.
Among them the neo-Frenchman Pavel Sivakov and the Australian from AG2R-Citroën Ben O'Connor.
Behind, all the other major nations have no representatives.
French and Belgians stir
At 72 kms, sixteen men including three French (Sénéchal, Bardet, Pacher) and three Belgians including Remco Evenepoel have been trying to get back to the group of breakaways reduced to 8 for more than thirty minutes.
This forces the other countries to stir in the peloton.
The junction with the leading men is 60 km away.
Immediately Evenepoel takes things in hand and accelerates to clean up.
The gap exceeds 2 minutes with the peloton.
The scenario seems perfect for Evenepoel.
To reduce the haemorrhage of seconds, France sends Madouas to try to accelerate.
Pogacar joins the task.
The gap is reduced by forty seconds but the peloton, in which Alaphilippe has never weighed, is unable to organize itself and is still procrastinating.
At 35 kms, the Belgian attacks at the front followed by Lutsenko.
It looks so powerful.
Unsurprisingly, at 25 kms, in the ascent of Mount Pleasant, Evenepoel took off in full force, leaving the Kazakh rider behind and offered himself his first rainbow jersey.
Evenepoel triumphs, Laporte rules the peloton
The last 25 kilometers are a story for the young Belgian, a triumph even.
While at the back, we wake up too late, Remco Evenepoel makes a solitary effort which will lead him to his first world championship title.
He won the race with a 2′21 lead over the peloton of favorites, who came back from nowhere in the last kilometers under the impetus of Wout Van Aert, once his Belgian teammate had won the race.
It was Frenchman Christophe Laporte who settled the sprint and won the silver medal, ahead of Michael Matthews.
But at the Worlds, it's the first place that counts.