Road

Remco Evenepoel: ‘It’s going better than we could have hoped’

Belgian star put in more than 700km in his first week of training in Spain since his crash at Il Lombardia.

Remco Evenepoel is on the road to recovery, both literally and figuratively, after three months after his horrific crash during Il Lombardia in mid-August.

The Deceuninck-Quick-Step star is midway through his first training camp down on Spain’s Mediterranean coast since his crash, and Evenepoel said he’s feeling better than he could have hoped.

The budding Belgian star rode 763km in his first week on the bike since his crash.

“Things came back quickly here in Spain,” Evenepoel said. “I’m no slower or different than before.”

“It’s going better than we could have hoped,” he told Sporza. “At first I only expected to be able to pedal by now, but I’ve already been on the bike for a month.”

Evenepoel, 20, said he’s actually lost some weight, mainly through atrophy of his muscle mass, and he’s about 5kg lighter than he was before his crash. He also said he’s lost some of his “baby fat” and stuck to a strict diet during his recovery.

“Because I was off the bike for so long I lost some muscle mass,” he said. “I’m getting back my strength, but there is still a lot of work to be done.”

“I feel like I am making progress every week,” he said. “I’m feeling stronger on the bike every day.”

Evenepoel still hasn’t mapped out his racing schedule for 2021, but he’s confident he will be back to full strength in time for his major goals next season.

The rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games, where he hopes to compete for a medal in the individual time trial race, remains on his radar. He also hopes to make his highly anticipated grand tour debut. He was supposed to have started the 2020 Giro d’Italia, before his crash took him out for the remainder of the season.

“It doesn’t matter which one, but I want to race one,” Evenepoel said of a grand tour in 2021. “I want to start my racing season as soon as possible, so it’s likely the Vuelta a Valenciana could be my first race. The Olympic Games are my schedule. More than anything, I want to race a grand tour.”

Evenepoel said he’s jumped right back into the flow of riding and training and said he’s not showing any sign of fears of the descents or high-speed descending.