Evenepoel sets sights on Tour de France 2024, ditching Giro d'Italia

No more wondering and no more doubts. Remco Evenepoel will make his Tour de France in 2024 and, despite the route that does not fit him so well, he will not let go a GC stint and will not race the Giro d'Italia. It is full focus on his Grand Boucle debut.

“Next season is focused on Liège, the Tour and the Olympic Games in Paris, followed by the World Cup. My ambitions? I hope for a third victory in Liège, it is a dream to leave Paris with two medals," Evenepoel shared with Het Nieuwsblad. “And then there is the Tour. That will be a voyage of discovery. The gods of stage-racing are at the start with Vingegaard, Pogacar and Roglic. Top five is the ambition. It would be a dream come true if I performed better than just one of these three. And a stage win is also possible, of course. Then I won a stage in the three Grand Tours.”

The Belgian's mind is now clear. This was the plan since long ago, but this season Covid-19 took him out of the Giro d'Italia and at the Vuelta a España he suffered a bad day which took him out of GC contention. Ultimately he was not able to truly take his Grand Tour racing to the next level. When the routes were revealed for both Grand Tours, Patrick Lefevere looked more set for the time-trial heavy Giro, whilst Evenepoel himself complained about the gravel stage at the Tour. However the doubts that emerged were since cleared. It's all-in for the Tour.

"What I can say is that I will not complete any altitude training for Liège. It will be a season with few races," he tells. Evenepoel will try to take on a lighter calendar physically and mentally in the first half of the year, in order to reach the Tour in the best level possible. His goal will be a Top5, a reachable goal - although many will certainly tout him to fight for the win when the time comes. This will also be with the Olympic Games in mind, which take place in the weeks following the Tour.

"From May, in the build-up to the Tour and the Games, I will no longer be at home and will alternate altitude training with competitions. So for Liège I want to spend as much as possible in my Spanish base, close to the family. I can train well uphill there, it is easier to cover the kilometers with the time trial bike. And most importantly, it will keep me mentally fresh. I want to start my preparation for the Tour with a fresh and clear head.”

Evenepoel was asked about a possible debut in the cobbled classics, to which he responded that this won't happen yet, but it will come later in his career: "But that won't happen this year. Yet there will come a season when I will focus a little more on the Flemish classics and skip the Ardennes, for example when I ride the Giro. Then it is of course up to Mathieu to stay away from the Flemish competitions," he jokes.

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