Remco Evenepoel hopes to 'steal' Jonas Vingegaard's secrets at Vuelta a España as he looks to 2024 Tour de France

Belgian aiming for second Vuelta a España triumph over the next three weeks, but faces stiff opposition

Remco Evenepoel and Jonas Vingegaard go head-to-head
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Remco Evenepoel will be keeping a close eye on the Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard when the two go head-to-head at the Vuelta a España this weekend. 

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.”

The Belgian is expected to make his Tour debut next July, having targeted the Giro d’Italia this year, ultimately withdrawing from the race with Covid

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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