From Utrecht to Madrid. Will next year’s Vuelta be a new battleground for Evenepoel’s Grand Tour dream? Deceuninck-Quick Step boss Patrick Lefevre sees opportunities in Spain for his student. “This cycle has to be an Evenepoel,” Lefevere said. Vamos?
The architects at Deceuninck-Quick Step are currently working hard on plans for the 2022 season. Patrick Lefevre has also been involved with the drawing board. The Belgian team boss has already given a sneak peek into the plans with his little wolf, Remco Evenepoel.
The announcement of the Vuelta tournament had something to do with this. The grueling road, riddled with challenging finishers, seems to be the missing piece in the Evenepoel seasonal puzzle.
If he starts in Spain with normal preparation, I still see opportunities in a few stages
Team boss Patrick Lefevre believes that “the course should really suit him”. “We have seen in Giroud – despite his less preparation – that he has the talent to ride Grand Tours. If he starts in Spain with normal preparation, I still see opportunities in a few stages.”
“But I definitely don’t want to assign him a favorite just yet. It remains to be seen how he reacts to the three-week stage race. The three finishes over 2,000m are also relatively new to him.”
Team time as a hobby horse?
Vuelta will also offer to try out team time again next year. At Deceuninck Quick Step Camp, there are plenty of droolers roaming around. Can Evenepoel make a difference against the chrono in Spain?
“In the team time trial, we were actually able to achieve a good result. The individual time trial lacks several height metrics to fully satisfy Remco,” Oracle Lefevre.
Could the Blue Brigade spin again in the team’s trial?
See you in Argentina, Evenpoel?
It seems to be written in the stars: Eveningball will take care of the Vuelta next year. However, it will have to wait until the beginning of next year before the Deceuninck-Quick Step is officially confirmed. “We’ll make the decision in January,” Levere said.
“We will first look at the first part of the season. For example, Remco will probably start his year in Argentina. He has good memories there and he gets the time to prepare.”
Evenepoel opened his 2019 and 2020 season at Vuelta a San Juan Internacional on Argentine soil.
He doesn’t want to ride the Tour de France next year. Skipping steps is not a problem.
So it looks like the focus of our compatriot’s season will be towards the end of the season. “One possibility next year is to schedule a training date during the tour.”
“That way he can close the season with Vuelta and the World Cup. Evenepoel doesn’t want to ride the same Tour next year. He never wants to miss any steps.”
“It feels good, you can see that in the exercises”
Evenepoel is currently in Spain – on a period of training with the team – to prepare for the new season. “He will stay here until the 23rd while the rest will pack all their bags today,” Lefevre said.
“I sat down with him yesterday and talked to him. He feels great, you can see that in the rehearsals. His training schedule ended well.”
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