Remco Evenepoel logs monster 'personal Liège-Bastogne-Liège' ride ahead of Tour de Suisse

The world champ crams more than 4,000 metres of climbing into 230km and averages 32kph while he's at it

Vuelta San Juan
(Image credit: Maximiliano Blanco / Getty Images)

World champion Remco Evenepoel has readied himself for this weekend's Tour de Suisse with a 231km (143-mile) training ride in the Ardennes featuring a whopping 4,334 metres of climbing.

Logging it on Strava, the Soudal-Quick Step rider called the activity 'Personalized L-B-L' in clear reference to the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Monument. 

Evenepoel Strava

(Image credit: Strava)

Despite the profile of his ride showing that he tackled more than 15 significant climbs, Evenepoel averaged more than 32kph (20mph). We'll assume this isn't a taper week then.

He didn't follow the Liège-Bastogne-Liège route as such, but he did take in a number of climbs seen on the race, including the Roche aux Faucons and La Redoute.

In fact he managed to cram roughly the same amount of climbing into a route that was 26km shorter than LBL, making it arguably harder than the real thing.

It was the longest ride Evenepoel has done since his brush with covid last month. He was forced to leave the Giro d'Italia after contracting the virus, despite having just won the stage nine time trial and taken over the GC lead.

It didn't take him too soon to recover and get back in the saddle though, and 11 days later on 25 May he logged his first ride back – a 99.5km outing near his home in Belgium that he jokily titled 'Too soon for 100'. He still managed to average 31.8kph though.

Evenepoel takes to the start line in the Tour de Suisse on Sunday, where he will line up alongside Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) and Roman Bardet (Team DSM) among others. Evenepoel will be one of the few GC riders there not honing their form for the upcoming Tour de France.

For Evenepoel, he'd not necessarily planned for the Tour de Suisse but his bout with covid forced a rethink.

“We know that the Giro was my main goal, but unfortunately that fell into the water," he said. "Then it became important to map out the right trajectory. Switzerland seems like the perfect match to start again. I have good memories of the race because of my time trial victory last year.”

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.