Remco Evenepoel, the remarkable cyclist and son of former racing champion Patrick Evenepoel, has encountered a tough journey on his path to success. Initially, he dabbled in football during his early years, but his remarkable physical prowess soon led him to embrace cycling professionally with Deceuninck–Quick-Step.
Recently, Remco ventured to Spain as the defending champion of the Vuelta a España, but his journey has taken an unexpected turn. During Stage 13, he finished 60th, which seems like a setback for his title defense. Remco confessed that his “tank was empty” during the race, but he insists he’s not sick or injured. He lost 5 minutes and 53 seconds to his rivals with 55 kilometers left in the stage.
The Rollercoaster Ride in Spain
Remco Evenepoel had a bright start in Spain, winning Stage 3 of the event and leading the overall standings for three days during the first week. However, his current standing is far from what was expected. The 23-year-old Belgian cyclist now sits in 19th place in the general classification, trailing race leader Sepp Kuss by nearly half an hour. This unexpected turn of events has surprised many.
During the stage, which was claimed by Vingegaard at the Tourmalet, Remco hinted that some important decisions lay ahead. He said, “It was just one of those days where my tank was empty. We gave it everything, and I have no regrets. I want to thank my teammates who stayed with me the whole day and left everything out there for me. We will discuss and look at where we go from here for the rest of La Vuelta.”
Is Remco Evenepoel Actually Unwell?
Since his disappointing performance, there have been speculations regarding Remco’s health. Some have suggested that he might be hiding an injury or illness. However, Soudal Quick-Step sports director Klaas Lodewyck has dismissed these claims, stating, “It was just a bad day for Remco.”
Lodewyck emphasized, “He was not sick or injured. It’s unfortunate and it can happen. Cycling is not racing on a simulator, and we are all human beings. We will sit down as a team tonight, assess what happened, and look at our goals for the rest of the race.”
A Challenging Stage
The Queen Stage of the Vuelta a España was the most demanding test in Remco’s cycling career. Going up against the formidable Jumbo-Visma trident and the UAE Team Emirates trio as the sole rider was no easy feat. However, the outcome turned out to be catastrophic, far beyond anyone’s expectations.
Remco Evenepoel’s journey in the Vuelta a España has taken an unexpected turn, with his current standing falling short of his defending champion status. While there are speculations about his health, his sports director has clarified that he is neither sick nor injured. Remco’s resilience and determination will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in the rest of the race as he navigates through this challenging phase in his cycling career.