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Remco Evenepoel to dip toes into gravel at Belgian Waffle Ride

Race officials confirm the Belgian superstar and Italian teammate Mattia Cattaneo will start the Kansas event on October 31.

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Remco Evenepoel will dip his toes into gravel racing later this month with a start at the Belgian Waffle Ride in Kansas.

The Belgian superstar will be joined by Deceuninck-Quick-Step teammate Mattia Cattaneo in the Kansas leg on October 31.

Race officials posted a note on Instagram to confirm the appearance of the two European road pros at the upcoming event.

The 21-year-old is the latest European road pro to put rubber to gravel, but unlike many of his colleagues who have switched full-time to gravel racing, Evenepoel has no intentions of leaving behind road racing.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step officials were not immediately available for comment.

Evenepoel is coming off another intriguing road season that was loaded with highs and lows. After returning from a serious crash from the 2020 edition of Il Lombardia, the Belgian all-rounder made his hyped grand tour debut with the Giro d’Italia in May.

Despite coming close to the pink jersey, he abandoned in the final week. Evenepoel went on to win eight races in 2021 in his third season in the WorldTour.

The young hopeful of Belgian cycling is expected to compete in the Vuelta a España rather than the Giro d’Italia in 2022, said Deceuninck team manager Patrick Lefevere on Tuesday on the website of the newspaper La Derniere Heure.

“The idea is that he will compete in the Vuelta (August 19-September 11) rather than the Giro,” Lefevere said. “It would be a mistake to field him both in Italy and in Spain next year. Remco will only be twenty-two years old: a Tour on the year is enough for him. He didn’t start cycling very young like Tadej Pogacar was able to do it.”

According to Lefevere, Evenepoel’s goal will be to win races at high level eight- or 10-day stages like Tirreno-Adriatico (March 7-13), the Dauphiné (June 5-12), or the Tour de Suisse (June 12-19).

Belgian Waffle Ride – Kansas

Friday, October 29
6 to 8 p.m. – VIP Dinner/Tilford Foundation Fundraiser – Sunflower Outdoor and Bike
8 p.m. – Partij van Halloween featuring a special musical guest – Free State Stage, 8th & Massachusetts

Saturday, October 30
7 to 9 a.m. – Expo vendor load in – 8th & Massachusetts
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – BWR Expo – 8th & Massachusetts
Noon to 6 p.m. – Beer garden – 8th & Massachusetts
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Race registration and packet pick up – Sunflower Outdoor & Bike
3 p.m. – rider briefing – Free State Stage

Sunday, October 31
6 a.m. – Venue opens, coffee and waffle gorging commences
7:30 a.m. – Waffle Men start
7:40 a.m. – Waffle Women start
7:50 a.m. – Wafer and Wanna ride start
5 p.m. – Awards ceremony – Free State Stage
6 p.m. – Venue closes
6:30 p.m. – Course closes