We all see it. On X/Twitter, Instagram comments, Facebook groups, and cycling forums, that Remco Evenepoel is old enough, he already rode other GrandTours and he should finally have a serious Tour de France GC campaign.
But would it be also good for him or only for some fans who just want to see all the big guns in one Tour de France? Here are my points about why he should ride Giro d’Italia for GC instead of Tour de France next year.
"Johan Bruyneel and Lance Armstrong are not stupid, they know a little about cycling" - Cyrille Guimard agrees that Remco Evenepoel is unlikely to challenge for Tour de France victory in 2024
• BEING REALISTIC
Remco Evenepoel should be really realistic. Does he or his team really believes that he can beat Jonas Vingegaard, Tadej Pogačar or also Primož Roglič in the Tour? Because I don’t think so. And what will be left for him then. 4th place or lower. That will be definitely a disappointment.
• WINNER TYPE
I started following cycling as a little kid, I thought that all cyclists wanted to win. But when I started following cycling in more detail I realized that it is not true. I discovered riders like for example Wilco Kelderman, Enric Mas or Aleksander Vlasov. All of them could have been Tour de France stage winners, but they all decided, that in the races they wanted to lose as little time as possible. And they are just satisfied with themselves, when they put a good effort on the road. But Remco is not that type of rider. He simply wants to win as many as possible and he is not happy with other places even if the performance is good.
"Why do they need to add such stages to a Grand Tour?" - Remco Evenepoel unimpressed by stage 9 gravel on 2024 Tour de France route
• THE FANS ARE UNSTABLE
Yes, the fans want all the big guns to be present in the Tour de France and battle each other. But Remco Evenepoel needs to realize, that these fans are not his fans, these fans are fan of cycling. It does not matter who will be in the first place, these fans of the whole cycling will be always cheering the most for the winners. And the defeated riders would be forgotten, which is be very likely the Remco’s case. They will again call him a 'loser', not good enough and in the end it will come to the: 'Remco should have ridden a Giro, at least he would have maybe won it.'
• STILL MANY YEARS AHEAD
How old will be Remco Evenepoel next year? 24. And if we are counting real GC years after his injury, then we are only just at number 2 which was this year with Giro and Vuelta attempt and last year with only Vuelta attempt. He still has plenty years of targetting Grand Tour GC’s ahead and he doesn’t need to rush things.
"Not like the last two years where we just see Jumbo against UAE" - Tadej Pogacar welcomes Primoz Roglic's move to BORA - hansgrohe
• WIN THE GIRO, OTHERS NEXT
It would be such a nice and calm feeling if Remco wins the Giro this year. He will have already a Vuelta a Espana win and the Giro win in his palmarès and he can focus in his whole career only to the Tour de France. He will not have to think about changing his schedule, because 'I need to prove anything also in the Giro', because he will already have done everything in the Italian and the Spanish Grand Tours.
• OLYMPIC YEAR
Which year is better to target the Giro GC instead of Tour GC than the Olympic year. He can come really fresh to the Olympics apart from the tired Tour riders. As a world ITT (Individual time trial) champion he will be also a big favourite to get the gold or any of the medals in the ITT also at the Olympics. And he will certainly have a chance also in the road race. Maybe some cyclists don’t rank the Olympics that high in the level of prestige, but it is still the Olympics and being any Olympic medalist is a big thing in the career of any sportsman.
"Beating Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar if they only focus on the Tour seems unrealistic to me" - Belgian concerns over Remco Evenepoel's plans to combine Giro d'Italia and Tour de France
So here are the reasons, why I think it would be better to target the Giro GC instead of the Tour de France GC for Remco Evenepoel next year. If he would feel still fresh and not tired, he can go also to the Tour and target stages and KOM jersey, but not the GC.
But at the end of the day, it is his decision and as a big fan I hope at the end of the next year he will be happy with the decision he is making now.