Remco Evenepoel dedicates Algarve stage win to fellow Belgian rider whose son died last week

Evenepoel was emotional at the finish after his first uphill stage victory

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Remco Evenepoel dedicated his Volta ao Algarve stage victory to a fellow Belgian rider whose son died last week.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Evenepoel was emotional at the finish of stage two on Alto da Foía, where he took the first uphill victory of his short career.

The 20-year-old gave an emotional tribute to Lotto-Soudal rider Nikolas Maes and his family, whose son Maurice was stillborn.

Maes, also racing the Volta ao Algarve, posted a devastating tribute to his child on Instagram, saying “forever our second son.”

Speaking after the stage, Evenepoel said: “There are more important things in life than winning a bike race and that’s why my thoughts are with him and his family.

“My victory is for them, and also for my family and girlfriend, who are always there for me and show me how important it is to have your loved ones by your side.”

A photo posted by on

Last week, 33-year-old Maes posted on Instagram about the death of his son, saying that just a few days before the planned birth they had the devastating news that Maurice’s heart had stopped beating in the womb.

He said: “Our world stood still and to date it still seems so unreal.

“Never thought that our first photo together would also be one of the last.

“We are very proud of your little man and hope that you have been able to feel the warmth and pure love that we cherish for you during the moments that we could spend together.”

>>> Vincenzo Nibali says Remco Evenepoel will be ‘a real rival’ at the Giro d’Italia 

Evenepoel’s stage victory was his third win of the year, after he took a stage and the overall in the Vuelta a San Juan.

He now leads in Algarve, but is on the same time as Bora-Hansgrohe’s Maximilian Schachmann who finished just behind on stage two.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.