Remco Evenepoel selected for road race and time trial at Tokyo Olympics

Lotto Kopecky leads the women's team on both the road and track

Remco Evenepoel
(Image credit: Getty)

Remco Evenepoel has been selected in the Belgium team that will race at the Olympic Games.

The Deceuninck - QuickStep rider has made no attempt at hiding his ambition to win the gold medal in the time trial event,  and the 21-year-old has now received confirmation that his place on the Belgian flight flying out to Japan is secured.

Evenepoel, who made his comeback from injury at May's Giro d'Italia, will ride the time trial in Tokyo alongside compatriot Wout van Aert, who is currently second on GC at the Tour de France.

The pair will be among the favourites to win the event, which takes place on Wednesday, July 28.

An undulating parcours awaits Evenepoel and his rivals, a 44.2km test that counts almost 900m of elevation gain.

Before the TT, though, Evenepoel will be among a very strong Belgian squad in the road race on Saturday, July 24.

He will be joined by Van Aert, Tiesj Benoot, Mauri Vansevenant, and the reigning champion, Greg van Avermaet.

The latter won the event in Rio five years ago, and while the now 36-year-old isn't considered a favourite to repeat his success, the AG2R Citroën man represents one of three cards that the Belgians are likely to play.

Van Avermaet and Van Aert will be hoping that the race falls the way of the Classics specialists, contrary to what the many climbers on the startlist, including Britain's Simon and Adam Yates, wish.

As for Evenepoel, if the road race is ridden as a mountain test then he will be among the favourites.

The young sensation won the Belgium Tour after retiring before the start of stage 18 at the Giro, and then finished second and third in the time trial and road race at the Belgian national championships, respectively.

Meanwhile, Lotte Kopecky leads the female team for the road race, joined by Valerie Demey and Julian de Velde, the latter the sole representative in the women's time trial.

Kopecky, who will also ride on the track in the Madison and omnium events alongside Jolien D'Hoore, has had an outstanding 2021, winning six times and only featuring outside the top-10 on three of her 21 race days.

She most recently claimed a national championships double and won the Lotto Belgium Tour, and will be fancied to win gold in both the time trial and road race.

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Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.

Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.