Julian Alaphilippe and Remco Evenepoel share their thoughts ahead of Il Lombardia 2021

The two Deceuninck - Quick-Step riders come into the final Monument of the year as two of the main favourites

Julian Alaphilippe and Remco Evenepoel
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Julian Alaphilippe and Remco Evenepoel have spoken about their chances at the upcoming final Monument of the 2021 season, Il Lombardia.

While the third of the Italian Autumn Classics, Tre Valli Varesine, was underway, Deceuninck - Quick-Step held a press conference with their three main leaders for Il Lombardia, which takes place on Saturday, October 9.

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Evenepoel was asked about how he feels after his win at the Coppa Bernocchi on Monday, October 4 and if the awful weather will affect him at Il Lombardia. 

"At the moment, physically I feel really tired because of the weather conditions, they were quite bad so it took a lot of energy out of the body," he said. 

"It's important to try to recover as much as possible in the upcoming days, but it's always nice when you find some good legs just ahead of a big goal or big race and I think also for the team with the other guys we saw that everybody's in a good shape and doing well so I think we're all quite confident and looking forward for Saturday."

Upon being asked whether he had returned to the Muro di Sormano since his serious crash in the 2020 Lombardia, "no" he replied, flatly. Evenepoel added that it will take some time before he can return there.

Evenepoel suffered a serious crash on the descent of the climb in last year's edition as he was at the back of a group following Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), with Evenepoel falling off a bridge into a ravine, fracturing his pelvis and other bones.

Alaphilippe, who is racing for the first time since retaining his world title in Leuven, Belgium, comes into the race as the likely top favourite.

However, the when asked about what he did after the World Championships, he said: "After the Worlds I was really tired and when I restarted training I felt a little bit sick, so since then I have enjoyed time with family and took it easy so I was fresh for my last two races."

Alaphilippe was unstoppable at the Worlds as he put in wave after wave of attacks along with his French team-mates, from 40km out until finally one move stuck and he soloed to the line.

When asked if he felt he could win, Alaphilippe said: "I hope so, for sure. I am in good shape but the rest of the bunch here is also really strong. Lots of guys are still really motivated and are also in great shape but yeah, I am confident that we have a really strong team, we are here to do our best and we'll see what we can do."

Evenepoel was asked what his experience of watching Paris-Roubaix was and if he was inspired to race it in the future, he said: "No! It does not inspire me at all. I think I was lucky to be inside with a good hot chocolate and watching all the others suffer.

"But of course, to see a race like this, you just have to respect all the riders who did it, even the riders that didn't finish. It really was hell. So, I don't think I want to go there."

He then looked at Alaphilippe,  Evenepoel then adding, "but never say never!".

Il Lombardia takes place on Saturday, October 9 over a tough hilly 239km course from Como to Bergamo, not taking in the usual climbs of Colma di Sormano, Muro di Sormano or Civiglio like in the past few editions, but a series of different climbs.

Alaphilippe, Evenepoel and Almeida will face stiff competition with former winners Nibali, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Esteban Chaves (BikeExchange), Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) being joined by Grand Tour stars Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!


I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.


It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.


After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.


When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.


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