Remco Evenpoel is gearing up for an extremely important season in his profession during which he’ll make his debut on the Tour de France, and the Belgian is at present engaged on tuning each high-quality element earlier than his season begins in Portugal on February 10.
The reigning time trial world champion is aware of that maximising his benefit in opposition to the watch will likely be pivotal to his prospects in opposition to two-time Tour winners Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Workforce Emirates) in July.
Time trials will likely be important at this yr’s Tour with a flat and quick TT on stage 7 adopted by a brutal, hilly race in opposition to the clock on the ultimate stage from Monaco to Good.
It’s the primary time that the Tour will end with a time trial since 1989 Tour, when Greg LeMond snatched victory from Laurent Fignon in Paris.
Evenepoel visited the wind tunnel at Milan’s Politecnico college on Monday with technical employees from his workforce Soudal-QuickStep and their clothes supplier Castelli to fine-tune particulars forward of the European season.
Soudal Fast-Step mentioned the world champion’s main focus whereas there was to “check totally different attire choices, together with skinsuits and shoe covers, and a few helmet choices for each street and time trial use.”
As a result of his uber-aggressive place and skill to chop via the wind with such a small profile, Evenepoel requires precise, customized necessities to his setup to make sure the utmost efficiency is extracted.
“Remco is a singular problem as a result of his place is so compact and aerodynamic that many of the options that work for different riders don’t give the identical outcome with Remco,” mentioned Castelli’s race division supervisor, Alvin Nordell.
“We’re on the stage the place the highest riders want personalized options. Fortuitously, Remco has at all times acknowledged the significance of this work and dedicates a variety of time to testing and enhancing.”
Evenepoel received three particular person time trials in 2023, claiming two on the Giro d’Italia earlier than he deserted as a result of COVID-19 after which successful the world title in Scotland.
At his excessive requirements, he’ll need to enhance on that in 2024 forward of the Tour, with seemingly shut rivals Vingegaard, Pogačar and Primož Roglič (Bora-Hansgrohe) all greater than succesful in opposition to the clock. Roglič is the Olympic champion within the self-discipline and the Vingegaard received the one time trial on the 2023 Tour by greater than 1:30.
“The time that we spend within the wind tunnel and the information that we obtain from it are invaluable. When racing in time trials on the stage during which Remco does, the high-quality margins could make an enormous distinction,” mentioned Soudal Fast-Step Head Coach Koen Pelgrim.
“Within the managed atmosphere of the wind tunnel, we will see the variations that totally different supplies will make, whereas on the identical time seeing how they’d work together with totally different positions on the bike.
“Remco has a fantastic place on the bike, and Castelli already produces a superb TT go well with, so quite than seeking to make huge adjustments, we try to fine-tune the setup that now we have.”
Evenepoel’s different key aim for the yr will arrive in the identical month – July – on the Paris Olympics time trial. Will probably be a busy time for the younger man as he targets a gold Medal simply after finishing his first Tour de France, however he appears more than pleased to pile the stress onto himself.
“The Tour de France and the Olympic Video games in the identical month are two of probably the most well-known sports activities competitions in the entire world. [July] will likely be a really thrilling month particular month,” mentioned Evenepoel ultimately week’s Soudal-QuickStep workforce presentation.
“Every part is concentrated on that month … the place I’ve to carry out on the highest stage that I’ve ever carried out.”
After his season debut at subsequent month’s Figuera Basic, the Belgian Champion’s pre-Tour schedule appears like this: Paris-Good, Itzulia Basque Nation, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Critérium du Dauphiné.