While most other riders professional riders are enjoying a break after the intense 2020 racing season, Remco Evenepoel is already training for 2021. The Deceuninck-QuickStep rider will head to Spain on Sunday to step up his training as he recovers from the fractured pelvis and other injuries he suffered during his terrible crash at Il Lombardia in August.
Evenepoel returned to training outdoors on October 4, the same day he should have been starting the Giro d’Italia. He has also been doing intensive rehabilitation work so he can be back to his best for the start of the 2021 season.
With the weather worsening in Belgium and with COVID-19 restrictions in both countries, Evenepoel has decided to head to Calpe on the Spanish coast for two weeks of training. There are currently no travel restrictions between most European countries.
According to Het Nieuwsblad (opens in new tab), Evenpoel will not stay in the hotel where Deceuninck-QuickStep are usually based because it has closed down until February due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on winter tourism in Spain. He is instead likely to stay in an apartment to avoid any risk of coming into contact with people with the COVID-19 virus.
"The weather is good for training there and it is something different to at home in Belgium," Deceuninck-QuickStep directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters told Het Nieuwsblad.
Evenepoel crashed into a ravine after misjudging a corner on the notorious descent of the Muro di Sormano at Il Lombardia on August 15.
He hit a low wall and fell over the edge into the ravine, fortunately landing on a steep slope well above a much more precipitous drop. Evenepoel was rushed to a local hospital and diagnosed with a fractured pelvis. He was taken to Belgium but doctors opted to avoid major surgery to speed up Evenepoel’s recovery.
Evenepoel is still only 20 but was considered a favourite for the Giro d’Italia after winning the Vuelta a San Juan, Volta ao Algarve, Vuelta a Burgos, and Tour de Pologne in only his second season as a professional.
The crash sparked a UCI investigation after Deceuninck-QuickStep directeur sportif Davide Bramati was seen removing an object from Evenepoel’s pocket before he was lifted from the ravine.
Deceuninck-QuickStep publicly insisted the white object was "a small bottle containing nutrition products" and was removed so he could be "placed more comfortably on the stretcher". After an investigation, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation said that “no anti-doping violation was committed and considers the matter closed, unless new elements are subsequently brought to its attention.”
Deceuninck-QuickStep continued to win in the absence of Evenepeol, taking a total of 39 victories in 2020, as well as Julian Alaphilippe’s world title.
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