"It has been a memorable race for us" - Tim Merlier, Julian Alaphilippe & Jan Hirt ensure successful Giro d'Italia for Soudal - Quick-Step

In the absence of their Giro d'Italia leader from twelve months ago Remco Evenepoel, Soudal - Quick-Step had something of a point to prove at the 2024 Giro d'Italia. Securing four stage wins and a top-10 in the general classification, it's fair to say that more than proved that point.

Three of the aforementioned four stage wins went to Tim Merlier, including the final stage in a bunch sprint on the iconic and picturesque cobbles of Rome, with the Colosseum as a beautiful backdrop. “I didn’t have my best day today, as I came to the start after a day of suffering on the Monte Grappa, but I am delighted I could pull it off. It was very hectic to be in a good position, but I found some space at the right moment and could launch my sprint," reflected the Belgian post-stage. "I had a lot of confidence, as I loved going full gas on the cobbles, and I was confident in my Specialized SL8. I am happy for myself and for this amazing team that we could end the Giro in style, in this perfect setting that Rome had to offer.”

Whilst sprint wins for Merlier were always somewhat expected, the stunning resurgence seen by former two-time world champion Julian Alaphilippe over the last three weeks has been a much more welcome surprise. Both for viewers and fans of the always attacking and entertaining Frenchman and the 31-year-old himself.

“I loved every single moment spent in the race, I loved the fans and the way they welcomed us and cheered for us every day. The stage I won made me so happy, it was a dream to complete my Grand Tour stage wins set," reflected Alaphilippe having been rewarded for his efforts with a stunning solo stage win and the title of most combative rider. "At the end of the day, it has been a memorable race for us and we can all be proud of the way we fought and of what we did here.”

To cap things off, the experienced Czech climber, Jan Hirt also managed to secure just the second Grand Tour top-10 finish in his career with 8th place in the final general classification. All in all then, a very successful 2024 Giro d'Italia for the Soudal - Quick-Step team.

With Remco Evenepoel set to make his first appearance at the Tour de France next month, team boss Patrick Lefevere and co will be hoping for similar results. With Tadej Pogacar already having a Giro d'Italia in his legs and Jonas Vingegaard's presence still up in the air, the opportunity may never be better for Evenepoel to mount a Maillot Jaune charge.

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments