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Remco Evenepoel on track for Giro d'Italia after Tenerife training camp

ZAKOPANE POLAND AUGUST 08 Remco Evenepoel of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Breakaway during the 77th Tour of Poland 2020 Stage 4 a 173km stage from Bukovina Resort to Bukowina Tatrzanska 941m TourdePologne tdp20 on August 08 2020 in Zakopane Poland Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) has completed an important step in his recovery from last summer's pelvis fracture, finishing a two-week training camp in Tenerife. 

The 21-year-old initially seemed to be progressing far quicker than expected but in January he revealed he'd suffered a setback and was still experiencing pain. 

He was forced to step away from the bike for a month before picking his training back up. That has intensified over the past two weeks, with a block of training now under his belt, and his target of riding the Giro d'Italia still in sight.

"Everything has gone according to plan. Remco is pain-free on the bike again and is no longer bothered by his injuries," his coach Koen Pelgrim told Het Nieuwsblad.

Evenepoel was joined on the camp by teammates Fausto Masnada and MIkkel Honoré, but was not yet able to match their training loads. 

"They go on their longer workouts up to seven hours, Remco has only been able to do what they do for the last two days. And then we still speak of a training of five hours," Pelgrim said. 

"But that all makes sense. In the end, Remco has been on the bike again for only four weeks. The weeks before, he was forced to limit himself to half an hour or 45 minutes on the rollers. You can hardly call that training. You do not build up fitness with that."

Pelgrim said that Evenepoel still showed 'eagerness' but had learned his lesson from his winter setback, and is happy to progress at a slower pace. He will now rest for a few days before resuming training in Belgium next week and then heading for another altitude camp in April with Deceuninck-QuickStep's Giro d'Italia squad. 

Evenepoel is keen to make his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d'Italia, as he was set to do last year until the crash, and has also outlined ambitions for the Tokyo Olympics in the summer. Many saw him as a favourite for last year's Giro but it is unclear what his prospects will be this May, as he could line up at the start in Turin with no racing under his belt. 

"He is still a long way from his best level. Okay, Remco is a talent. As soon as he trains, you see that his body reacts very quickly and that he may progress a little faster than another rider, but you cannot expect miracles," Pelgrim said.

"In the end, he stayed off the bike for eight weeks. That is twice as long as the rest period of a normal rider in winter - not to mention his heavy rehabilitation before that. There is still a lot of work to be done. 

"You can hardly expect that after a few weeks of training he will immediately blow the roof off at the Giro. The most important thing is that he can be of value to the team and come out well in the Giro."