Belgium's Remco Evenepoel won the junior edition of the Chrono des Nations time trial on Sunday, and will next race as a member of the WorldTour-level Deceuninck-Quick Step team in 2019.
While most eyes were on the elite men's Chrono des Nations – in which Danish youngsters Martin Toft Madsen (BHS-Almeborg Bornholm) and under-23 time trial world champion Mikkel Berg (Hagens Berman Axeon) took the top two places, and Direct Energie's Sylvain Chavanel's fifth place was his last as a professional rider – Evenepoel was busy cleaning up in the junior edition, covering the 26.5km TT in 32:48, 1:10 ahead of Frenchman Donavan Grondin and 1:39 in front of Great Britain's Joshua Sandman in third place.
The 18-year-old Evenepoel won both the junior men's road race and time trial at the recent UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, in a similarly dominant fashion, but had already signed to ride for Patrick Lefevere's Quick-Step Floors team for 2019.
"Always nice to finish off the season with a win," he tweeted on Sunday. "This was my last race as a junior and I am beyond excited for next season with Quick-Step."
Evenepoel may not want to be known as 'the next Eddy Merckx' – even though Merckx has called him "something special" – but he's dominated in a very similar fashion by winning almost every event he's entered this season, including the junior Belgian Championship road race, the junior Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne one-day race, and both the time trial and the road race at the junior and under-23 European Championships.
Quick-Step Floors boss Lefevere had been searching for a new title sponsor for his team, and was able to reveal it as window manufacturer Deceuninck earlier this month.
Evenepoel will now skip the under-23 category entirely, moving straight to WorldTour level to ride for the newly named Deceuninck-Quick Step squad for the next two seasons.
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