“Don’t call me the next Eddy Merckx,” Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel had told reporters after winning Tuesday’s junior men’s time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. But then he went and also won the junior road race two days later, which even Eddy himself described as “incredible”.

That was the word Merckx used to describe his young compatriot’s performance on Thursday, according to Het Laatste Nieuws, and Belgium must now think they have a true superstar of the future on their hands.

“Maybe he’ll be better than me,” Merckx told the Belgian newspaper. “It seems as though that boy can do anything. Look at him: he can time trial, and he overtakes everyone on the climbs. It’s great to see.”

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Evenepoel, 18, has won almost every race he’s entered this season, from the junior Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne back in February to the overall classification at the Giro della Lunigiana earlier this month, via the junior and under-23 European Championship road race and time trial, and the junior Belgian Championship road race.

When asked to compare his younger self to Evenepoel, Merckx demonstrated that his own competitive fire still burns brightly, albeit with a twinkle in his eye.

“Maybe I could have done something on this course,” he said, referring to the hilly nature of these World Championships’ hilly parcours.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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