Schotte about Evenepoel’s “logical Giro choice”: “His team is not yet ready for the Tour” | Giro

Not the Tour, but the Giro in 2023 may be delighted with the arrival of the world champion. Remco Evenepoel announced that news himself on Wednesday. “There wasn’t much doubt at The Wolfpack, the courses spoke for themselves”, comments commentator Renaat Schotte.

“Would be stupid not to head in Giro’s cross”

After months of speculation, the bullet is through the church: Remco Evenepoel will ride the Giro next year and not the Tour. “A choice written in the stars,” says our cycling commentator Renaat Schotte.

“I don’t think there was much doubt at Quick Step when the decision between Giro and Tour had to be made. After all, the courses spoke for themselves.”

In 2023, the Giro will contain about 70 kilometers against the clock, in the Tour the riders will have to make do with just one climbing time trial. For a racing driver like Evenepoel, the choice is quickly made. “It would have been stupid not to head in that cross from the Giro,” says Schotte.

“I know that behind the scenes starting money has been discussed for a while. But that always happens when it becomes clear that there is interest from rider and team in riding a race. It is also only normal that the world champion receives starting money to race.”

The time trial kilometers in the Giro were a determining factor.

“Wolfpack still needs to strengthen for the Tour”

Why is Evenepoel still neglecting the Tour, the most important race of the year? “The main reason is because the team is not ready yet,” says Schotte. “I think Evenepoel is already ready for the Tour, he has already shown that, but his team is not yet ready in terms of width.”

Patrick Lefevere attracted only one rider with Jan Hirt last transfer period who can assist Evenepoel in the high mountains. “At The Wolfpack, they better wait until the mercato of 2023 to strengthen the round core and then put everything on the Tour for the first time in 2024.”

In the Tour, lieutenants such as Van Wilder, Serry and Vervaeke would have to compete against round cores such as those of Jumbo-Visma or UAE, that is too early

Renate Schotte

So what is the difference between a team that is armed for the Giro and a team that can contest the Tour? “In the Tour, the pressure and media attention is so much greater than elsewhere. Quick Step is not ready for that yet, Patrick Lefevere will be the first to confirm that.”

With which lieutenants should Evenepoel go to the Giro next year? “Basically the same guys as in the Vuelta: Van Wilder, Serry, Vervaeke … In the Tour they would then have to compete against round teams such as those of Jumbo-Visma or UAE, that is too early.”

“Settling an outstanding account in Italy”

Did the wildly ambitious Evenepoel mainly make a choice of the mind with the Giro, and not of the heart? “No, because Evenepoel loves Italy. He is also seduced by the Italian language – he does speak a word of Italian.”

“He also has an account in the country that he wants to settle,” adds Schotte. Evenepoel fell hard in the Tour of Lombardy in 2020 and had to give up in the Giro a year later after falling completely through the ice.

“Do not underestimate the motivation of a top athlete to take revenge after a failure – which the Giro of 2021 was in his eyes, certainly not in my eyes,” Schotte concludes.

His fall in the Tour of Lombardy in 2020 has long haunted Evenepoel.

Planning Evenepoel: Italy, internship and then San Juan

Evenepoel is currently on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, where he will train until December 2. On December 5, he then leaves for an internship with the team.

The world champion will travel to Argentina on January 15. There he opens his season in the Tour of San Juan, which starts on January 22.


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