Remco Evenepoel has confirmed that he will stay at Soudal-QuickStep, ending speculation and reports that he could try to break open his contract and move to Ineos Grenadiers or another major team to boost his chance of success at the 2024 Tour de France.
Evenepoel and his father Patrick, who acts as his agent, had raised concerns about the strength of Soudal-QuickStep for the Grand Tours and other teams seized on that to make offers to entice him away despite a contract binding him to Soudal-QuickStep until 2026.
Evenepoel spoke to Jumbo-Visma while their takeover of Soudal-QuickStep was still a possibility but when those plans ended on Friday, the young Belgian decided to clarify his position.
He crashed during Il Lombardia but fought the pain to finish ninth and spoke on the steps of his team bus.
“The team continues, so I will stay,” he said, putting an end to the speculation.
“There were a few difficult moments, but next year we’ll go for it,” he added, with the Tour de France the expected major goal.
“We are going to try to build and perform in the races when we have to. I have no reason to be dissatisfied here. We are going to get the most out of it.”
“Next week I’ll give it my all again in the Chrono des Nations and then I think I’ll have earned a holiday. I have been riding at a high level for a whole year. It’s time to ease up a little bit.”
Evenepoel finished with a ripped jersey and shorts and a bandage on his left elbow covered in blood. When he stopped beyond the finish line, he was clearly in pain.
“My legs felt really good. I had a really good day. But the fall decided a lot…” he explained.
“My knee, buttock and back are all damaged. There was an open wound. At the end of the race, it started to affect me.”
“But I have to be satisfied, I did my best and took steps forward. In the future I will come back here to win it.”
Presumably in a Soudal-QuickStep jersey.