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Evenepoel and team prioritize freshness ahead of Giro debut

Deceuninck-Quick-Step staff plan to carefully manage 20-year-old's schedule to keep him fresh leading into first grand tour.

No one knows how far Remco Evenepoel can go in his blossoming career. However, his Deceuninck-Quick-Step team is taking efforts to ensure he can go as far as possible in his grand tour debut this fall at the Giro d’Italia.

At just 20 years old and only in his sophomore season, some have hinted that the Belgian is too young to race a grand tour. After winning week-long stage races and one-day classics in his first years in the WorldTour, the wunderkind will be stepping up to lead his team and target the overall at the Giro (October 3-25).

Deceuninck-Quick-Step plans to carefully monitor Evenepoel’s season ahead of the Sicilian Grande Partenza so he will arrive fresh and raring to go. After starting the season at Vuelta a Burgos later this month, his pre-Giro program will be kept light, highlighted by Tour of Poland, Il Lombardia, and Tirreno-Adriatico.

“Remco will start the season in Burgos again in good condition at the end of July,” sports director Klaas Lodewyck said. “But we will have to manage well with the efforts he makes so that he does not start the Giro exhausted.”

Though the ever-ambitious Evenepoel is looking to fight for pink against the likes of defending champion Richard Carapaz (Team Ineos), Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), his team plans to take it one step at a time with one eye on the future.

“Remco has already proven that he can win a big race. But a grand tour is like a first day of school. We will have to wait day by day to see how everything goes,” Lodewyck told Sporza Thursday.

“We especially have to try to learn a lot from Remco’s first participation in a grand tour. Afterward, we can make adjustments for the future. Remco is still very young. You should not underestimate a race of three weeks. We have to wait and see how his body recovers and how Remco can deal with everything around it.”

Evenepoel is currently putting the finishing touches on his form at a team altitude camp in the Dolomites.

“Remco has a very good feeling. He is motivated and healthy. Hopefully, it can stay that way,” said Lodewyck.