Remco Evenepoel doesn't plan on leaving the Giro d'Italia despite dashed GC hopes

The 21-year-old says he would like to make it all the way to Milan in his debut Grand Tour

Remco Evenepoel descending the Passo Giau at the Giro d'Italia 2021
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Remco Evenepoel has said that he does not plan on leaving the Giro d'Italia unless he is physically unable to do so despite losing over 24 minutes to Egan Bernal on stage 16.

Evenepoel (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) said following the mountain stage that he doesn't want to leave the race after his team boss, Patrick Lefevere, said that if he loses even more time then he will be made to go home.

The Belgian slipped from seventh in the overall standings to 19th where he now sits 28-07 behind the pink jersey of Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) who put on a show on the Passo Giau during stage 16 to ride solo to victory.

>>> Giro d'Italia 2021: Romain Bardet 'didn't realise' he finished second behind Egan Bernal

Speaking after the stage, Evenepoel said: "It's not so good that I've lost 20 to 25 minutes. Just an off day, we knew that this could happen, in the end, I've only been training two months towards this Giro, which is not enough to be 100 per cent race-ready.

"But, that's life. There's one more week to go. We did a really good stage with João [Almeida] today, so that's the most important thing. Tomorrow is the rest day, we'll enjoy it together, get some rest and try to make the best of it in the last week.

"We never said I was going to leave. I'm just going to end the Giro, why not?"

His team-mate, Almeida, has now leapfrogged Evenepoel to go 10th overall at 10-01 behind Bernal going into the final week. Almeida put in a very strong performance to hold onto sixth on the stage after being in the break all day. The Portuguese rider was the highest placed of those in the early break at the finish.

After the rest day, the race goes straight back into the mountains to tackle another vicious stage that has two big climbs at the end, including a summit finish on the Sega di Ala after 193km, albeit, around 1000 metres lower down than the Passo Giau from stage 16.

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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.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.