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Jarno Widar, another rising star from Flanders

11/06/2024

If you take a good look at him, you will find him somewhat reminiscent of fellow Belgian Remco Evenepoel: 166 centimetres tall and 52 kilograms. Furthermore, Jarno Widar has so much power on the climbs that today, in the first high-altitude finish of the Giro Next Gen 2024 in Pian della Mussa, he pulled away from everyone, won the stage and took the Maglia Rosa.

“To be honest, I don’t really care if they say I’m the new Evenepoel,” said Widar last winter. ‘That’s what people say, but I don’t like comparisons, I focus on myself and my team. I go my own way and I don’t feel any pressure around me, these are comparisons that don’t mean much”. The kid does not seem to lack personality either.

 

Born in 2005, Jarno had a breakthrough season last year among the juniors when, thanks to weighty victories (14 in total) such as the Giro della Lunigiana (2 stages), the Paganessi, the Tour of Flanders and the Kuurne in his category, he earned himself a lot of attention and limelight, as well as a place in the Lotto Dstny Devo line-up.

The jump to the U23 category does not seem to have affected him too much, as in the past month alone he has finished 2nd in the Ronde de l’Isard and the Flèche Ardennaise and first in the Alpès Isere Tour. Today, after having put the team to work for a rather lengthy portion of the stage, he attacked 3 km from the summit of Pian della Mussa and then tried again just before the last kilometre, dropping the last two rivals, the tenacious Wouter Toussaint (Wanty-ReUz-Tecnord) and Mathys Rondel (Tudor), and finishing with more than 20 seconds on all his opponents.

The Giro Next Gen has found its beacon: will someone manage to turn it off?

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