World champion Remco Evenepoel to make post-Covid comeback at Tour de Suisse

The Soudal Quick-Step rider will spend the second half of his season focusing on the Glasgow World Championships

World Champion Evenepoel
(Image credit: Maximiliano Blanco / Getty)

Remco Evenepoel is set to make his post-Covid comeback at the Tour de Suisse next Sunday.

The Belgian world champion was forced to leave the recent Giro d'Italia due to Covid, directly after winning the stage nine time trial and taking the maglia rosa. The race was won overall 12 days later by Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).

Soudal Quick-Step rider Evenepoel has had to rethink his season after his experience at the hands of covid, and will now centre on defending his rainbow bands at the August World Championships in Glasgow, the team said.

Following the Tour de Suisse, the 23-year-old will head home to Belgium to defend his national time trial champion's jersey and ride the road race. From there, he will head to an altitude training camp in Italy where, says the team, training will start in earnest for his rainbow jersey defence.

“It has been quite the challenge to see a pathway through the rest of my season," Evenepoel said in a statement released by the team. "We know that my main goal of this year was the Giro d’Italia and what happened was really unfortunate, so it was important to plan the right path with the team management.

"I think to begin in Suisse is the perfect start, and it allows me to revisit a race where I have good memories from my time trial win last year.”

The altitude camp in Val di Fasso, he said, would be "a great place to start looking forwards to the World Championships."

Evenepoel rode the Tour de Suisse last year, winning the final day time trial just ahead of Geraint Thomas and Stefan Küng. He was second in the young rider competition, finishing 11th overall.

As he did in 2022, Evenepoel will encounter a mix of lumpy, mountainous, and time trial stages at this year's Tour de Suisse. With two flat time trials bookending the eight-stage race, Evenepoel may even find it suits him even better this time round. There is a trio of mountain stages in the middle of the race – including one summit finish – with hilly stages either side.

The Tour de Suisse starts next Sunday 11 June, and runs until the following Sunday 18 June.

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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.