The Belgian sits just 16 seconds from the yellow jersey with four days to go.
Remco Evenepoel showed a lot of character and fighting spirit on the toughest stage of the race so far, just 152.5 kilometers between Monthey and Leukerbad, taking his 14th top three placing of the year, a result which cemented his place on the overall podium of the competition.
Taking in five climbs, including Crans Montana, the fourth day of the Tour de Suisse was a wild one in the last 40 kilometers, when the attacks started coming from the GC men. Soudal Quick-Step tried to keep things under control, but then the race exploded with more than 20 kilometers to go and it soon was every man for himself. Felix Gall (AG2R Citroen) went clear, forcing a response from behind; the pace went up in the chasing group and Evenepoel got dropped, but showed remarkable resilience to make his way back in the small bunch.
On the penultimate ascent, the World Champion continued to suffer, dangling at the back and being close to getting dropped, but he gritted his teeth and rode smartly, latching on and making it over the top with the other favourites. Having overcome the difficult moment faced on the Höhenweg, the rainbow jersey remained calm as the road began again to rise to the finish in Leukerbad, where he waited for the last 100 meters to get out of the saddle and sprint to a strong runner-up spot which came with six bonus seconds that helped the 23-year-old Soudal Quick-Step rider reduce the gap to the overall leader to just 16 seconds.
“I’m not in my best shape at the moment and I feel that I need to ride at my own pace on these climbs. Today wasn’t easy, but as the race progressed and we got closer to the finish, my legs began feeling better and better. Considering everything, second isn’t bad, I think it was the maximum I could get out of this stage. But I keep my focus and confidence, and hope that I will overcome Thursday’s stage, which is going to be another difficult one”, explained Remco, who is now third on the general classification.
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