Saturday should happen to Remko Evenpoel (22). If he wants to win the Algarve race for the second time, he has to hit the 32.2 kilometer time, after which he can beat Alto do Malhao the next day for a seat as leader. “The legs really feel good.”
Remco Evenepoel rides on the rollers on his test bike in his time after every ride in Portugal, three days in a row. To make it clear that there is only one stage that really interests him: the individual time trial of 32.2 kilometers. Such a relatively long experience is becoming increasingly rare and it is a shame for me Kate From Quick Step Alpha Vinyl. The better, the better for Evenepoel, who can withstand the effort for a long time. With a high number of revolutions, around 90 to 100 per minute, and his aerodynamic stance, he could distance himself from the competition like a Belgian whirlwind on Saturday between Villa Real de Santo Antonio and Tavira. Evenpool tested its test site in a wind tunnel this winter. “Some small tweaks were made to sit better on the bike, but I’m not going to make the rest smarter,” says trainer Quinn Pilgrim, who flew to the Algarve on Thursday to be there for the time trial.
As for the victory on the stage, it will be an interesting duel with two-time European champion Stefan Kung. For an overall win, Evenpool must keep an eye on Ineos duo Ethan Hayter and Daniel Martinez, the British and Colombian trial champions respectively. Hayter also finished eighth in the World Cup beta. his feeling? “I’m going for it, but it remains to be seen how new I am because I contracted coronavirus in January. I fear Evenepoel is too strong.”
Alto de Malhau
Evenepoel, the World Cup’s number three all-time champion, should already be able to get enough distance from leader David Gaudu to start the final stage with peace of mind on Sunday. Then the finish is on the Alto do Malhao (2.6 kilometers with an average gradient of 9.3 percent), which also climbs 25 kilometers from the finish. American Brandon McNulty, just like Evenpool a second behind Gaudo, must also be driven the necessary distance. “At least the legs seem to be in good shape,” says Evenpoel, who actually caught time experience during his January internship in the Algarve. “It’s going to be a tough time for the trial: a lot of straight forward, up and down. But that’s what I like.”