Following his win at the UAE Tour last month, Remco Evenepoel has shown no sign of slowing down at training camp on Mount Teide, setting a new Strava record on the western ascent of the volcano in Tenerife on Monday.
The world champion set a new fastest time on the 24.55km ride from the village of Chio to the peak, blasting up the 5.5% grades at a speed of 26.1kph to set a time of 56:25.
The effort was part of a five-and-a-half hour, 165km training ride, which featured a long descent from their altitude base, a southern loop, and the climb back up from the west.
Evenepoel’s time knocks former Bahrain Cycling Academy rider Jonas Hjorth off the top spot by 1:56. Chris Froome (59:20) and Evenepoel’s Soudal-QuickStep teammate Louis Vervaeke (59:08) are also among the top five quickest times, while Miguel Angel López, Dylan van Baarle and Pavel Sivakov also lie among the top 10.
Remco Evenepoel heads to altitude in Tenerife after UAE Tour triumph
Remco Evenepoel takes race-light, altitude-heavy road to Giro d’Italia
Evenepoel takes major step toward Giro d’Italia goal with UAE Tour overall victory
Inside the Spanish altitude training base used by Pogacar, Van der Poel and Evenepoel
Evenepoel also holds the Strava record for the ascent from the north, having ridden the 27.24km, 6% climb from La Orotava quicker than anybody else on Saturday. His time of 1:08:42 blew away previous record holder Damiano Caruso.
Evenepoel, who turned 23 at the start of the year, headed to altitude in Spain’s Canary Islands 12 days ago after winning in the UAE, with Soudal-QuickStep teammates Vervaeke, Fausto Masnada, and Jan Hirt and joining him on the island along with a trainer, soigneur, and mechanic.
In contrast to Evenepoel’s record-setting ride, Hirt and Masnada dialled it back a touch on the climb, setting times of 1:13:17 and 1:16:24 respectively.
The camp is the next step in his quest to win this year’s Giro d’Italia, with the next race on the schedule the Volta a Catalunya on March 20 ahead of a visit to the Belgian hills in April and a defence of his Liège-Bastogne-Liège title.
With a race-light, altitude-based build-up to the Giro, Evenepoel is hoping to replicate the preparatory period that saw him triumph at last year’s Vuelta a España. Appointments at Brabantse Pijl and Liège will mark only his 22nd and 23rd race days of the season and will be his last before the Italian Grand Tour in two months’ time.
“It’s a lot of training, a lot of altitude camps, but we saw last year that it works for me, so there’s no need to change anything or try any different approaches,” he said back in January at the Soudal-QuickStep team presentation.
“For me, it works well to have a period that’s pretty calm, then blocks of racing which are more stressful. When I go to races, I go with the pressure to win or perform. Combining that with the camps, where there’s no pressure, just a job to be done, that’s what helps me deal with the stress. It helps me throw myself at my objectives.”
He and his teammates are currently staying at the Hotel Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide up the mountain, a popular destination for teams and riders at training camps, with Jumbo-Visma notably using their time there to great effect so far in 2023.
With many roads heading up to the peak of Mount Teide, there isn’t one single record time, though Evenepoel is the only rider to hold Strava records on two different routes to the top. Sivakov and Greg Van Avermaet are among the riders who hold records on other roads up the climb.
Evenepoel will return to racing action at the Volta a Catalunya (March 20-26), where he’ll be joined at Soudal-QuickStep by Masnada, Vervaeke and Hirt as well as Mattia Cattaneo, Pieter Serry, and Ilan Van Wilder, riders who look set to make up the bulk of the team’s Giro squad.