Evenepoel blows up the Teide KOM
The Belgian cyclist has been training at high altitude in Tenerife since March 3rd in preparation for the tough spring that he has on his agenda and that will culminate with the assault on the very tough route the Giro d'Italia has planned for 2023. Some trainings that are beginning to bear fruit as we can see in the social network Strava, where the Soudal-QuickStep rider is causing real havoc in each segment through which he pedals.
Tenerife becomes Remco Evenepoel's territory
If during the winter the Alicante coast is the main playing field chosen by the professionals for their preseason training, as the big events approach, training at altitude becomes more important, moving the scenario to the slopes of Sierra Nevada or to the impressive landscapes of the island of Tenerife, with the Parador Nacional del Teide, located right at the 2,000 m level, as the nerve center.
Remco Evenepoel has been there since March 3rd, after spending a few days at home following his triumphant return from the UAE Tour, as evidenced by the popular Strava network where the Belgian shares each of his training sessions.
As it is usual in this type of concentrations, the first days the Belgian sought relatively short routes, trying to keep the elevation gain figure contained, something very difficult given the location of Parador del Teide, to progressively increase the distance and intensity once the initial phase of acclimatization to the altitude was overcome.
Until yesterday, in which Evenpoel marked a very hard session of 165 kilometers, almost 5 and a half hours on the bike in which he exceeded 4,000 meters of accumulated altitude gain, practically all concentrated in the final part with the endless climb to Teide, this time from the town of Chío in the southern part of the island. A climb of tight percentages, but crushing and endless throughout the 24.5 kilometers that separate this village from the plateau where the mountain is located and which is one of the most sought-after Strava segments by professional cyclists.
Just take a look at the classification of the section to find names like Pavel Sivakov, Dylan Van Baarle, Miguel Angel Lopez or Chris Froome on the list. However, until yesterday, the KOM belonged to Norwegian cyclist Jonas Hjorth who, until last year, was riding for the Bahrain-Victorious continental squad.
However, the news is not that Remco Evenepoel has achieved this coveted achievement but that he has done so by lowering the previous record by no less than 2 minutes, a real barbarity at these levels, especially if we take into account that he does it at the end of a tremendously demanding training.
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Two days earlier, in another wild route, this one of 183 kilometers and almost 4,500 meters of elevation gain in the north of the island, Remco took the climb to Teide from the valley of La Orotava, according to the locals, the most complicated alternative to climb the slopes of this volcano, 27 kilometers that the Belgian climbed in 1 hour and 8 minutes, almost 4 less than the previous best time that Damiano Caruso had in his possession.
This is a good sign that Remco's road to the Giro d'Italia, his big goal this season, is going well, something he will surely try to corroborate starting next week during the Volta a Catalunya, the only stage race in Evenepoel's calendar before the Giro, after which he will focus his efforts on trying to revalidate the impressive victory he achieved last year in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.