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Remco Evenepoel will kickstart his 2022 campaign in Spain.
The 22-year-old Belgian will head to the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana for the first time early next month as he looks to make a strong start to his season.
Due the injuries sustained in a horrific crash at Il Lombardia back in 2020, Evenepoel rode a limited race program in 2021 and missed the opening months of the season. With a clean bill of health so far this year, he’s starting earlier and aiming to be at full force for the Ardennes classics.
“I’m happy to be going to Valenciana. I like riding in Spain, the weather and the fans are great, and I had success there as early as my first pro season. Clásica San Sebastián still ranks as one of my best wins, and the Vuelta a Burgos victory one year later was a confirmation that I can do good in week-long stage races,” Evenepoel said.
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“I can’t wait to get the season started. I had a good winter preparation and I feel more relaxed than last year. I hope to have a solid year, as I look forward to improving, to making more steps in the right direction, and getting some wins here and there.”
Following his start in Valencia, Evenepoel is scheduled to ride a series of short stage races in the build-up to the Ardennes races. He will race at the Volta ao Algarve, Tirreno-Adriatico, and Itzulia Basque Country.
His first race on home soil will be Brabantse Pijl, followed by Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. It’s the first time that the fourth-year pro will contest the Walloon races.
The second part of Evenepoel’s season will be geared around the Vuelta a España, his second-ever grand tour appearance. In preparation for the three-week race, he is scheduled to ride the Clásica de San Sebastián — which he won back in 2019 — and the Vuelta a Burgos.
“I hope to have a normal season, unlike last year when I had a late start,” he said. “At the end of the day, I can’t complain, as I won eight races and have been on the podium at the national, European, and world championships, but I want more from this year. I will work hard towards the Ardennes classics and La Vuelta. I like riding in Spain, I won San Sebastian and Burgos there, and can’t wait to ride the Vuelta and gain as much experience as possible.”