"The idea was to do the Giro and Tour. Our trainer talked that out of him" - Patrick Lefevere on Remco Evenepoel's initial plans for 2024

For the first time in his career, Remco Evenepoel will take on the Tour de France in 2024. Had the Belgian got his way however, a return to the Giro d'Italia could also have been on the cards.

"The idea was to do the Giro and Tour. Our trainer talked that out of him," reveals Soudal - Quick-Step boss, Patrick Lefevere in conversation with the De Rode Lantaarn podcast. "For a Grand Tour we are talking about twenty racing days, which you build up with preparation races, training and altitude training. This is less necessary for two Grand Tours and we are talking about forty racing days."

Although the consensus was that Evenepoel should prioritise the Tour de France and that way of thinking eventually prevailed, after two appearances at the Giro d'Italia ruined by bad luck, Lefevere himself admits he would have liked to see his leader have another crack at the Maglia Rosa. "I would have given a lot to have him ride the Giro," he rues.

Last year, Evenepoel was forced to withdraw from the Giro d'Italia on the first rest day after testing positive for Covid-19, despite the fact a stage win the day prior in an individual time-trial kept the Belgian in the overall race lead.

With the Giro again having considerable time-trial kilometres, relative to the other Grand Tours in 2024, Evenepoel would have been seen as a real contender for victory once again had he joined the likes of Tadej Pogacar and Geraint Thomas in attempting a Giro/Tour double.

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