Remco Evenepoel has completed his final training block before travelling to the Giro d’Italia, doing a 182 km ride with a long spell on his time trial bike and some motor pacing sessions with his father.
The World Champion has been in Spain since winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège and stayed at the Syncrosfera hotel near Denia, sleeping in a hypoxic room that recreates the effect of sleeping at altitude.
He spent three weeks at altitude in Tenerife before Liège-Bastogne-Liège and this final block of training and recovery should ensure the Belgian is at his best for Saturday’s opening 19.6km time trial on the Adriatic coast. Evenepoel hopes to take time on his overall Giro d’Italia rivals in the time trial, including Primož Roglič.
Evenepoel opted not to reveal details of all his recent training rides but published his workouts from Tuesday and Wednesday on Strava before flying to Italy. He and his Soudal-QuickStep teammates will speak to the media at the Giro d’Italia, including Cyclingnews, on Thursday afternoon, a few hours before the evening team presentation.
Tuesday’s 182k ride was titled “Finito with the workouts” – “Finished with the workouts”, while Wednesday’s 34.9km recovery ride was called “Andiamo” – Italian for ‘Let’s go”, with an emoji of spaghetti, pizza and the Italian flag.
According to Sporza sources, Evenepoel covered much of the 182km ride on his time trial bike, riding at an average speed of 44.7km/h. Some of it was motor pacing work done behind his father’s scooter, with several breaks.
Soudal-QuickStep announced their squad for the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday, with Fausto Masnada a surprise omission from the eight-man selection due to recent illness.
Climbers Ilan Van Wilder and Jan Hirt are among the key riders on the team, having trained with Evenepoel on the lengthy altitude training camps on Mount Teide in recent months along with Pieter Serry and Louis Vervaeke. All-rounder Mattia Cattaneo and sprinter Davide Ballerini made the cut along with Tour de Romandie prologue winner Josef Cerny.
Evenepoel knows he is following in the footsteps of Eddy Merckx, Michel Pollentier, Johan De Muynck at the Giro d’Italia. They all won the Corsa Rosa in the seventies. Stage 19 finishes on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, where Merckx, rainbow jersey on his back, forged his first Giro victory in the snow in 1968.
“It’s another Grand Tour, it’s one of the three, but it’s of course a very special country to race in,” Evenepole told Cyclingnews for a special…
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