On Thursday, Remco Evenepoel was on the Lanterne Rouge podcast from Andorra. During the podcast, he discussed his current season and addressed the prominent question: which team will he be riding for in the future?
The podcast hosts, Benji Naesen and Patrick Broe sat down with the new world time trial champion and had an extensive conversation spanning nearly two hours on a multitude of topics. One question consistently resurfaced: in light of persistent rumors linking him to Ineos Grenadiers, what will be the chosen path for the reigning world TT champion in 2023?
“I will ride for Quick-Step,” Evenepoel replied, “I have a contract until the end of 2026. I will respect it. A contract is a contract. You can’t just walk away and say, ‘I wish you all the best and goodbye.’ That is not happening. In addition, the world of cycling is not the world of football. In cycling, you can’t just buy a player for €200 million.”
He said that he is happy riding for Patrick Lefevere’s squad, but they can still do more to help their level of competition. On Wednesday, it was announced that Spanish rider Mikkel Landa would be joining the team in order to bolster its Grand Tour ambitions, for example.
“If we can improve things around our lap team, such as power for example, then we will quickly be at the level of UAE and Jumbo. We already have a lot of expertise in the team, even us riders. There are no more secrets in the peloton, everyone knows how the others work.”
The speculation about Evenepoel joining Ineos Grenadiers gained momentum due to a statement made by Remco’s own father during an interview with Belgian paper La Libre. Alberto Contador also added fuel to the fire by suggesting that the Belgian cyclist would be a part of the British team in 2023.
Evenepoel’s next race is the Vuelta a España where he is defending his 2022 victory. His big competition is expected to come from the Jumbo-Visma duo, Primož Roglič and Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard, as well as Geraint Thomas of Ineos Grenadiers.