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Vuelta a Espana suits Evenepoel, says Lefevere

MAARKEDAL BELGIUM JUNE 09 Remco Evenepoel of Belgium and Team Deceuninck QuickStep at start during the 90th Baloise Belgium Tour 2021 Stage 1 a 1753km stage from Beveren to Maarkedal baloisebelgiumtour on June 09 2021 in Maarkedal Belgium Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Patrick Lefevere has suggested that Remco Evenepoel could target the Vuelta a Espana in 2021 but the QuickStep team boss has added that the young rider’s precise role at the race is far from decided.

Evenepoel made his Grand Tour debut at the 2021 Giro d’Italia and despite abandoning in the final week the 21-year-old enjoyed a promising opening fortnight in the race. He finished seventh in the opening time trial in Turin and remained in contention for a top-ten place before his race began to unravel in the final few days.

On Thursday the 2022 Vuelta a Espana route was presented, and with a team time trial on the opening day in Utrecht on August 19, and an individual time trial on stage 10 of the three-week race, Evenepoel would potentially be able to mount a GC challenge before a demanding final week that is crammed with mountain stages.

Speaking to Sporza, Lefevere also confirmed that Evenepoel would not race the Tour de France next year and that a final position on the rider’s aims and ambitions for next season would be taken during the team’s January training camp.

Lefevere also announced that Evenepoel would make his 2022 race debut at the Veulta a San Jan Internacional in January.

"This course should suit Remco. We have seen in the Giro – despite his lesser preparation – that he has the talent to ride Grand Tours. If he starts in Spain with normal preparation, I still see opportunities in a few stages,” Lefevere told Sporza.

 “I definitely don't want to assign him a favourite role yet. It still remains to be seen how he will react to a three-week stage race. The three finishes above 2,000 meters are also relatively new for him.” 

“We will take the plunge in January. Let's look at the first part of the season first. Remco will probably start his year in Argentina (with the Vuelta a San Juan, ed.). He has good memories there and gets the necessary time to prepare.”

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