Forced to abandon the Giro, his main objective of the season, due to covid, will Remco Evenepoel align himself with the Tour de France to bounce back as quickly as possible? His boss Patrick Lefevere allows himself time for reflection.
In cycling, a fall or illness can upset a well-established program in no time. We remember, for example, that in 2019, Egan Bernal had to do the Giro, but had withdrawn due to a broken collarbone, before being called in as reinforcements for the Tour de France to compensate for Chris Froome’s package. …and win it! And if Remco Evenepoel lived the same fate? The Belgian world champion had made the Giro his main objective for 2023, but had to give up on the evening of the 9th stage, pink jersey on his back, due to a positive test for covid. Who would give him the desire to participate in the next Tour de France, which begins on July 1, when he should not start on the Grande Boucle until 2024? The 23-year-old rider, extremely disappointed to have to return home on Monday, has not yet spoken, but the boss of his Soudal-Quick Step team Patrick Lefevere has already given his opinion in the Belgian press.
Lefevere: “The Tour team has not yet been decided”
“I understand that you have to fill in the dailies, but I do not wish to comment on this, he declared in the columns of the The newspapaer. The Tour team has not yet been decided, except for a few names. The whole team around Remco is currently still at the Giro. He’ll get over it first and then we’ll sit quietly, with Remco’s father too. If Remco calls and says, “I absolutely want to go to the Tour”, then that’s another thing. But he’s not going to do that. (…) Apparently, he had trouble sleeping last night because, at 1:35 in the morning, we were still sending text messages, the content of which was: let’s look forward. Officially, Remco Evenepoel’s next race on his calendar is the Clasica San Sebastian on July 29, for a confrontation with Tadej Pogacar, after the aborted one in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. But why not meet up in the Basque Country on July 1 for the big start of the Tour de France? In any case, this is a subject that is likely to animate the next few weeks for cycling fans…