WHAT WE'VE LEARNED THIS MONTH
REMCO IS AS GOOD AS HE EVER WAS
The serene progress with which DeceuninckQuick Step’s Belgian rider Remco Evenepoel sailed through his first months and year as a professional was rudely interrupted by his crash at Il Lombardia in 2020, in which he sustained serious injuries including a broken pelvis. The comeback was delayed, painful and prolonged, and when he faltered badly at the 2021 Giro d’Italia, fans may have dared to speculate if he would ever be the same again. However, he bounced back from his Giro disappointment and June’s Tour of Belgium showed him at something like his best, for his sixth career GC win. And if Belgium was impressive, the recent Tour of Denmark was vintage Evenepoel. On stage 3 he crashed, remounted and attacked, and nobody could live with him, to the point that he was lapping groups of riders on the finishing circuit. He won the stage alone by a minute and a half, and in a flat race like the Tour of Denmark that would normally have been enough. However, the week finished with a time trial, in which Evenepoel took his 18th and 19th wins as a professional with the stage itself and an overall contest which was no contest. The 21-year-old looks like he is back on track, and though the grand tours remain unfinished business for him, he currently looks like one of the best week-long stage racers and time triallists in the WorldTour.