Evenepoel to make Monument debut at Il Lombardia

Evenepoel to make Monument debut at Il Lombardia

Friday 10 July 2020 - 10:35

The 20-year-old Belgian talked about his calendar for the month of August, which includes his presence at the start of the “Classic of the Falling Leaves”.

European Time Trial Champion Remco Evenepoel is currently preparing for the second part of the 2020 season in Val di Fassa, Italy, together with his Deceuninck – Quick-Step teammates. In less than three weeks’ time, the 20-year old will travel to Spain for the Vuelta a Burgos, the team’s first official UCI race since the COVID‑19 pandemic. Only a few days later, another stage race awaits the winner of this year’s Vuelta a San Juan and Volta ao Algarve: the Tour de Pologne, the first World Tour-level race of Evenepoel’s 2020 campaign.

“It will be my first time in Poland and I look forward to it”, Remco said. “I will start the Tour de Pologne without any pressure. I have already proven that I can compete for the win in this kind of stage race. Also, my main goals are later in the season. But we’ll see how I’ll feel and if the opportunity presents itself, I won’t waste it. If I feel really well, I could still go for a stage win or the GC. I don’t have to prove myself but I always expect a lot from myself.”

On August 15, Il Lombardia will mark Evenepoel’s debut in a Monument. “I will try to be in peak condition by then”, commented the Belgian. “It’s a beautiful and prestigious race. We’ve already been talking about it with the team. We’ll have a strong line-up as it will be very tough. If I have to compare it to a race I’ve already done, I’d say the Clasica San Sebastian, but I expect it to be even tougher. The weather will be crucial this year with temperatures that could easily rise up to 30 degrees. It doesn’t really scare me, I think I can handle the heath, but the combination of high temperatures, fluid loss, technical descents and demanding parcours will make it a hard race. After all, that’s why it’s a Monument.”

After Il Lombardia, Evenepoel will battle for the gold medal in the Belgian National ITT Championships and defend his title in the European Time Trial Championships, which will be held in Plouay. “As a European Champion and silver medalist at the World Championships, I can’t aim for anything else but the win at the Nationals”, he said. “It would be a little bit silly if I said I’d just go for the top 5, even with the world class competitors I’ll have to face. There are at least five other world class time trialists in Belgium, so finishing fifth, a couple of seconds behind the race winner is a perfectly realistic scenario. That’s why it’s important to me to keep the faith in my own abilities, focus on myself, and ride as hard as possible on that day.”

“The Belgian ITT Championships will be my first race against the clock after the coronavirus outbreak. The only way to practice time trials is to simulate them on training. It’s not necessarily a disadvantage as this will be the case for most competitors. I spend a lot of hours on my Specialized Shiv TT Disc. It feels good and I’ll be used to it by August 20.”

The European Time Trial Championships are scheduled only four days after the Belgian Championships in Koksijde. “If everything goes well, my condition should be really good by then. I have faith in myself and in my Shiv. Anything is possible if I take good care of myself. It’s always tricky to make predictions, but I really want to win it again and successfully defend my title. I will give it my everything to do so, you can be sure of that.”

In the closing weekend of August, Evenepoel will debut in two one-day races close to home, namely the Druivenkoers Overijse on August 29 and the Brussels Cycling Classic, one day later: “I look forward to spending the weekend racing in my hometown region. One of the climbs in the Brussels Cycling Classic, the Keperenberg, is only three kilometers from where I live, so I know the parcours well. It will be nice to race so close to home with the Wolfpack.”

 

Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images

                        ©Maximiliano Blanco / Getty Images

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