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Evenepoel takes tentative steps toward recovery from Il Lombardia crash

evenepoel pologne
Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Remco Evenepoel was up and taking a few tentative steps using crutches just five days after crashing into the ravine off the Sormano and fracturing his pelvis during Il Lombardia on Saturday.

The Deceuninck-Quickstep rider was transported back to a hospital in Herentals, Belgium on Monday, and posted an optimistic video message thanking his supporters and vowing to come back stronger than ever.

It's difficult to imagine the 20-year-old could get better than before his terrifying crash. Evenepoel was already a major favourite to win the race after taking home the overall classification in four stage races this season – from the Vuelta a San Juan and Volta ao Algarve before the coronavirus pandemic to the Vuelta a Burgos and Tour de Pologne in recent weeks.

His wins came thanks to his stellar time trialing abilities in the first two races but Evenepoel laid down his marker as a Grand Tour contender with a mountain top victory in Burgos and with a surreal 60km solo attack on the penultimate stage in Poland, mimicking many of the winning rides he made a junior.

Deceuninck-Quickstep posted the video of Evenepoel being helped taking two steps, showing how his right leg mobility has been impaired by the fracture.

His season over, Evenepoel is now focussed on a comeback in 2021.

"Me and the team are thinking positive and looking forward to next season," he said on Monday."We'll take it really slow, really calm and do everything to become a better rider and become stronger than ever before."