It will be the first time since last April that the duo have ridden against each other in a stage race, and the first time ever they have done so at a Grand Tour.
With next year's Tour in mind, Evenepoel explained in a press conference that he will use the opportunity to study the Dane, and add some of his secrets to his “backpack”.
“You can steal with your eyes,” the 23-year-old smiled. “He knows how to win the Tour de France, so he probably also knows how to win this Vuelta. It’s a bit of trying to copy as much as possible and take it in my backpack into next year’s Tour.
“[I’ll be doing this] during the next three weeks and during the one-week WorldTour races next year. It’s just something exciting.”
Evenepoel and Vingegaard are yet to truly lock horns in a race. The last time they shared the road together was at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April 2022, having both ridden Itzulia Basque Country that same month.
“I’ve raced him a few times, not too many times,” Evenepoel said. “I think it’s only a good thing for the bunch, for cycling, for the Vuelta, for himself, for everybody. It’s always a big challenge when you see a big name like that at the start line. I’m happy that he’s here.
“With Jonas in the bunch, and then Primož [Roglič], those two just always show that they are there, whatever the race. [I’ll be] comparing my level with their level."
As for his prospects in Spain, the defending champion explained he is aiming for stage wins and a spot on the podium in Madrid.
“It’s very difficult to say I will win this Grand Tour, because a bad day is very easy to get. Becoming ill or sick is also pretty easy. Having a crash can happen at every second of every stage,” he said.
“It’s going to be a very high level in the bunch. But I think with the heat and the difficult course, you can also expect for some guys to get out of the mix pretty soon.”
The Vuelta a España begins this Saturday 26th August with a team time trial in Barcelona.
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