Remco Evenepoel considering Giro d'Italia Tour de France double, Lefevere 'advises against'

Soudal Quick-Step boss says Tour de France 2024 route is 'one of the toughest of recent years'

ClockUpdated 15:45, Wednesday 25th October 2023. Published 15:27, Wednesday 25th October 2023

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Patrick Lefevere and his star rider Remco Evenepoel

Remco Evenepoel has already stated his intentions to make his Tour de France debut in 2024, but the route for next year’s edition, unveiled on Wednesday hot on the heels of the route reveal for the 2024 Giro d’Italia, has given him food for thought.

The 2022 Vuelta a España winner was not present in Paris for the Tour de France presentation, but his Soudal Quick-Step team boss Patrick Lefevere was, and he revealed that the Giro is tempting Evenepoel back, with a possible double on the cards.

Evenepoel made his Grand Tour debut at the 2021 Giro, before returning in 2023 with a Grand Tour title under his belt, although he was forced to leave the race while in the lead, due to COVID-19. The 2024 edition of the corsa rosa will feature 68.2km against the clock, which has proved tempting for the time trial world champion. The Tour, meanwhile, will have 60km, although the final-day TT in Nice is a hilly affair.

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“He has an open account with the Giro d’Italia. He is even considering combining the Giro and the Tour,” Lefevere said.

Evenepoel sat down with his coach, Koen Pelgrim, and team sports director, Klaas Lodewyck on Tuesday to discuss the plan for 2024, although the team don’t seem keen on the Giro. The Olympic Games, taking place in Paris soon after the Tour, is a factor that could put the nail in the coffin of the Giro-Tour double idea.

“With what comes next, with the Olympics, it doesn’t seem like the best idea,” Lefevere said. “We need to draw up a balanced programme leading to the Tour. It’s not completely excluded that he will make the Giro-Tour combination but we advise against it.”

As for the route for the 2024 Tour de France, it arguably suits Evenepoel less than the Giro. There’s not as much time trialling, and even less on the flat terrain that suits his ultra-aerodynamic position. Meanwhile, there’s a heavier load of climbing at the Tour – 52,000 metres total elevation gain to the Giro’s 41,000m – which arguably pushes things in favour of the two-time winner Jonas Vingegaard.

“It is very tough. I think it is a very difficult Tour de France – more difficult than this year too. It is one of the toughest Tours of recent years,” Lefevere said.

“The time trials are in Remco's favour, but I think our friend who won this year [Vingegaard] will also enjoy them.”

Read more: Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift 2024 route revealed

The key stages are backloaded into the latter third of the race, with two summit finishes in the Pyrenees at the end of the second week, ahead of a final week that includes three more mountain stages, two more summit finishes, and a hilly final-day time trial in Nice.

However, there are also some early tests, with 3,600m of elevation on the opening day in Italy, an early visit to the Alps over the Galibier on stage 4, plus the striking inclusion of 32km of gravel on stage 9.

“Every stage is interesting. The Tour can already be in play on stage 4,” Lefevere said.

“The Tour only ends in Nice, but with the type of riders around nowadays, they fight with an open mind and always go for it.

“He who doesn't explode wins."

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