The European ITT Champion wasted no time in scouting some of the roads of the season’s second Grand Tour.
The penultimate weekend of the Giro d’Italia is expected to play an important role in the final outcome, as it features two stages that are very likely to create some important gaps in the general classification: the hilly Valdobbiadene individual time trial and the Piancavallo mountain top finish – a leg-sapping 14.5km-long ascent averaging 7.8% that will come at the end of a tough day containing four classified climbs.
Slated to make his Grand Tour debut at the 103rd Corsa Rosa, which was pushed back to October due to the pandemic, Remco Evenepoel took advantage of his presence in Val di Fassa – where he came together with the rest of the Wolfpack at the beginning of the week for an 18-day training camp – to carry out a detailed reconnaissance ride of stages 14 and 15. Despite the rain that impeded his training, the 20-year-old Belgian completed the task and took a lot of confidence and motivation from this.
“It was great to be on the roads of two important stages of the race, both for me and the team, and to have an early look on what will be on the menu of the race’s third weekend. I’m not going to lie, the route is difficult, but now we know it better and this info will be useful in October. Even with bad weather, the roads are really good and being back on my Specialized Shiv felt great, especially as this year I rode only two stages against the clock before the season was stopped”, said the European ITT Champion, whose first race after the enforced break will be the Vuelta a Burgos.
“On Friday we rode the Piancavallo stage, followed one day later by the time trial between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, which is almost identical to the one of 2015 – albeit much shorter – and will be very important three months from now. We recognised many of the roads and the tricky descents of five years ago, elements that can make it very difficult. It was a useful test for Remco, as he got to see the course and discover what the main obstacles will be”, added Deceuninck – Quick-Step trainer Koen Pelgrim.
Photo credit: ©Wout Beel