On a scorching hot stage, the Belgian struggled in the heat on the tough hilly circuit around Novazzano.

Thursday afternoon, the peloton took in some of the roads used in 2009 at the World Championships in Mendrisio, and that, combined with the blazing heat, made for a tough stage that widened the gaps between the general classification favourites, which at the start of the day were minimal.

A debutant at the Tour de Suisse, Remco Evenepoel had difficulties on the second ascent of the Pedrinate (2.4km, 8.7%), losing some 15-odd seconds, but with the help of his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl teammates he made it back to the depleted peloton that was gradually raising the tempo. Unfortunately, the next time they tackled that climb, the Belgian struggled again due to the high temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius on the gruelling gradients, and despite giving his best to limit the losses, he concluded two minutes behind Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-hansgrohe), who took the win from a reduced group.

“I would have preferred to not lose time today, but they rode really fast and with this heat, if then you get overheated or you feel a bit not in the game for a second then you pay for that. There are still two totally different stages coming and an individual time trial, two minutes isn’t positive but I wouldn’t say it’s completely over for a nice GC.”

“Today I had a half off-day, and hopefully tomorrow and the day after things will be better. On the climbs they went really full gas and I just didn’t have that today. Ilan and Fausto did a perfect job to bring me back just before the descent, but I had difficulties and got dropped again on that short and explosive ascent. Two minutes is a lot, but I will keep fighting in the next days”, an upbeat Remco explained after the stage.


Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images

Our road wolves

Related products

Related items

Tour de Suisse: Evenepoel remains well-placed

Tour de Suisse: Evenepoel remains well-placed

15/06/2022 - Race report