Remco Evenepoel will return to racing at the Tour of Denmark held from August 10-14. The Deceuninck-QuickStep rider admitted that the flat route and windy location doesn’t suit him but that he aims to practice riding in the echelons.
“The most important thing for me is to learn to ride in echelons here,” Evenepoel said in a report in Nieuwsblad. “If you’re not in the right range here, you can pack your suitcase and go home. We have a lot of experienced guys on the team who can teach me.”
The Tour of Denmark will be Evenepoel’s first race after returning to Europe from competing at the Tokyo Olympic Games, where he finished 49th in the road race and ninth in the time trial, while representing Belgium.
Wet, windy and lots of sand,” Evenepoel said had a short training ride on Monday. “Beautiful roads and cycle paths. Better than in Belgium. Thumbs up.”
Deceuninck-QuickStep line up with Mark Cavendish, who won four stages at the Tour de France, and with a primary objective of supporting him in the sprints. The team will also include Yves Lampaert, Michael Mørkøv, Shane Archbold, Iljo Keisse, and Jannik Steimle.
“I come here without expectations. This is a new race for me, a flat course that probably won’t suit me,” said Evenepoel.
The event includes a 10.8km time trial in the final stage in Frederiksberg but Evenepoel stated that he hasn’t seen the route and couldn’t predict whether it suited him or his rivals.
“I haven’t looked at the course in the road book yet,” he said. “A lot of corners or long stretches straight through, that will have a big impact on the result. I also don’t know who will start tomorrow. I haven’t looked at that yet either. I suspect all the Pedersens in the pack will be there.”
Deceuninck-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere confirmed last month that Evenepoel will not compete at the upcoming Vuelta a España, which starts on August 14, but the Belgian rider’s season will continue as far as Il Lombardia in October.