Remco Evenepoel’s Strava profile fell silent for a period last week but there is precious little privacy for the Belgian champion as he prepares for his Tour de France debut, with Het Laatste Nieuws reporting that he was busy reconnoitring the gravel sectors of stage 9 around Troyes as the year drew to a close.
According to the Flemish media, Evenepoel also availed of his time in central France to study the pivotal stage 7 time trial to Gevrey-Chambertin and part of the route of stage 8 to Colombey-les-Deux-Églises.
Evenepoel’s mission to France was first revealed by a cycling fan, who posted footage on social media of the Belgian riding on the route of stage 9 in the company of Soudal-QuickStep teammate Louis Vervaeke.
Het Laatste Nieuws reports that Evenepoel and Vervaeke were accompanied on the excursion by directeur sportif Klaas Lodewyck, soigneur David Geeroms and mechanics Nicolas Coosemans and Dario Kloeck.
Evenepoel has since returned to his winter base in Calpe, posting details of training rides in the area on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Although Evenepoel’s race programme for 2024 will only be formally revealed at Soudal-QuickStep’s media day in Calpe next week, the 23-year-old already indicated his intention to make his Tour debut in July before tackling the Paris 2024 Olympics when he was named Belgium’s sportsman of the year last month.
“The Tour and the Olympic Games in July. The most important month of my life so far – and perhaps forever – is coming,” Evenepoel said, according to Sporza.
“Next season I’m focused on Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Tour de France, and the Paris Olympic Games with the Road World Championships behind that. My ambitions are for a third win in Liège and it’s a dream to leave Paris with two medals.”
It is expected that Evenepoel will start his 2024 season in February at the Volta ao Algarve, a race he won in 2020 and 2022, while Christian Prudhomme has expressed hope that the time trial world champion will make his Paris-Nice debut in March.
Remco evenepoel aperçu près de Troyes en reconnaissance du #tdf2024Source @ElieAdrien2 @soudalquickstep @EvenepoelRemco @RenaudB31 @Domestique___ @LeGruppetto @lucasaganronald @Le_Beau_Velo pic.twitter.com/ezi6F1dxsmDecember 28, 2023