By Jonny Long published
Remco Evenepoel is set to make his Grand Tour debut at the 2020 Giro d'Italia.
The 19-year-old Belgian had a breakthrough 2019 on the road, winning the Clásica San Sebastián and becoming European time trial champion and will now target even bigger wins in 2020 and beyond.
The 2020 Giro d'Italia will offer Evenepoel, who finished runner-up behind Australian Rohan Dennis in the race against the clock at the Yorkshire Worlds, ample opportunity to take a first Grand Tour stage win, with the Italian race offering up three individual time trials this year.
The opening stage in Budapest is a 9.5km ITT, giving Evenepoel a great chance of taking the maglia rosa. Stage 14 offers up a longer time trial of 33.7km from Conegliano to Valdobbiadene and the final stage 21 into Milan is a completely flat 16.5km course.
"I am really looking forward to my first three-week race, the Giro d’Italia, a huge and prestigious event that captures one’s imagination. I am happy that the team have put their faith in me and given me this amazing opportunity," Evenepoel said.
"It will be quite a big experience to see how I will feel and cope with the three weeks of demanding racing and the hurdles lying ahead, but at the same time I’m very excited to just discover the Giro.
"The plan is to take it day by day, see how things will go, give my best every time and enjoy it while continuing to learn."
Evenepoel will begin his season at the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina, but has his sights for 2020 set on the summer, specifically the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Winning the European time trial championships guarantees the young Belgian a spot in both the road race and time trial squads for Japan.
In an interview with Belgian Cycling, Evenepoel said dreams of Olympic glory have kept him fully focused throughout the winter and he appears relaxed about the huge goal he's set himself. Still only 19, turning 20 later this month, Evenepoel knows he'll have future opportunities to take gold.
"If I do well in the road race, fantastic. If I don’t do so well, well, that's just unfortunate," he said. "But in either scenario, my focus will then switch to the time trial. You can't concentrate on two things at the same time over there. If you neglect any little details, it can be the difference between winning and losing."
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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