Our rider is confident ahead of his first race of the year.
Remco Evenepoel is back to Portugal for six days of racing spread over two events: Figueira Champions Classic and the Volta ao Algarve. If the former is a hilly race he’ll get to discover this Saturday, the latter has no more secrets for the Belgian Champion, who won at both his previous participations there, in 2020 and 2022, on top of this racking up three stage wins.
The 24-year-old talked about his goals for these outings in a press conference held less than twenty-four hours before the start of the one-day race, which due to the inclement weather has been shortened to 190 kilometers by the organisers.
“Taking on Figueira and Algarve is a good combination to kick off the season. It’s always important to see where you are after the winter training and I’m looking forward to the next days of racing. The races here in Portugal are quite explosive, and this is something that I like. Algarve comes with a good combination of climbs and time trial – where I’ll get to show my rainbow jersey – a nice mix which I like, and I hope to get a victory as quickly as possible. Taking a win early in the season is good for morale and confidence, and this will be my main aim: to leave Portugal with a win in the bag.”
Figueira and Algarve will also be the first outings of Mikel Landa in the Soudal Quick-Step jersey, and Remco is excited to see his partnership with the Basque rider – one of the best climbers in the peloton – get off to a solid start.
“I’m hoping for some good weather, because I’m coming here not just with the goal of getting a victory, but also of building my condition for Paris-Nice, an event I will compete in for the first time in my career next month. Portugal will also be a good opportunity for me and Mikel to know each other better in races and see how things go between us. It will be important to develop that chemistry and see how we get along on the bike ahead of the bigger goals of the season”, concluded Remco.
Photo credit: ©Wout Beel