Volta ao Algarve - Remco Evenepoel: I'm happy the yellow jersey remained in the team and we'll try to keep it here
Feb 21 2020 07:43 am CET

Volta ao Algarve - Remco Evenepoel: I'm happy the yellow jersey remained in the team and we'll try to keep it here
Volta ao Algarve - Remco Evenepoel: I'm happy the yellow jersey remained in the team and we'll try to keep it here
Photo of Remco Evenepoel © Deceuninck-Quick-Step Cycling Team / Getty Images

Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) has taken the first uphill victory of his career at the second stage of the Volta ao Algarve.

The second day of the Portuguese race was expected to be decided in the last climb of the day and the young Belgian launched an attack with 500 metres to go -after an outstanding work of his teammate Joao Almeida- and crossed the finish line ahead of Max Schachmann (Bora-hansgrohe) and Dan Martin (Israel Cycling Academy).

With this victory, Evenepoel climbs to the top of the General Classification where he stands with the same time as Schachmann and two seconds ahead of Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Martin and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal).

"Yesterday, when we discussed the tactics, we agreed that we should remain attentive and do our race, and the team did an extraordinary job the entire day, working for me and keeping me out of the wind," said Evenepoel. "During the stage I had good sensations in the legs and I said to myself that I would try something in the final kilometre.

"For that reason, when one guy attacked, I asked João to bring him back and keep the pace high. Then, with 500 meters to go, I went full gas and managed to keep the chasers at bay despite the strong headwind in the final 100 meters. I surprised myself today, because I worked a lot on my acceleration, and to see the progress I've made with the help of the team is really great. I'm happy the yellow jersey remained in the team and we'll try to keep it here, although we know many challenges still lie ahead."

The Belgian rider also dedicated the victory to his fellow countryman Nikolas Maes, who is going through a difficult personal moment after he and his wife lost their baby at birth. "There are more important things in life than winning a bike race and that's why my thoughts are with him and his family," the rider commented. "My victory is for them, and also for my family and girlfriend, who are always there for me and show me how important is to have your loved ones by your side."









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