Evenepoel climbs to third after first Algarve summit finish
Remco Evenepoel returned on Alto da Foia, the ascent where he claimed his first ever uphill finish in the pro ranks two years after the success that ended up inspiring the local authorities to commission a statue replicating his celebration.
The Belgian was again in the mix on the 7.5km climb where the strong headwind prevented the riders from making a serious move until 200 meters to go. Up until that point, Louis Vervaeke rode incredibly at the head of the reduced bunch, setting the tempo for more than three kilometers as Evenepoel patiently waited in the first seven positions at all times. Under the flamme rouge, an attack was launched but was immediately nullified by the group, from where riders began sprinting in the run-in to the line.
Remco tried to go on the left side of the road, but was blocked for a split second and later by a crash that involved two riders with 100 meters to go, but still came through in sixth – a result that moved him up to third in the general classification, just one second off the lead.
“The team was great today and protected me the entire stage. I felt on the climb that it wasn’t hard enough to really force something, so I chose to remain well-placed to catch as less wind as possible, as there was headwind. I just hoped to arrive in the first group and that was what I did in what proved to be a hectic finale. I felt good all day and hope to have the same legs or even better on Saturday”, said Remco, who continues to lead best young rider classification.
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