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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

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2020 Tour de France | 2020 Giro d'Italia

The audiobook version of The Story of the Tour de France, Volume 1 is available.

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us. - Socrates

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Remco Evenepoel update

Here's the latest from his Deceuninck-Quick step team:

The soon to be 21-year-old Belgian will continue his recuperation and rehabilitation before returning to on-bike training.

As part of his continued rehabilitation process, Remco Evenepoel underwent a scan on Monday in order to assess the progress of the injuries which he incurred as a result of his crash while competing in last August’s Il Lombardia.

Remco Evenepoel

Remco Evenepoel gets his bike to start the 2020 Il Lombardia where he crashed so badly. Sirotti photo

Upon assessment of the scan results, it has been decided that Remco will take a further short period of recuperation and rehabilitation before returning to on-bike training. While the scan revealed no further damage to his pelvis, the decision has been made in order to allow his injuries further time in which to fully heal.

The Deceuninck – Quick-Step management and medical team will continue to assess his progress and work with Remco to ensure that he can return to training and racing at the best moment possible.

No further statement will be made at this time.

Julian Alaphilippe to start season at La Provence

Here’s another rider update from Team Deceuninck-Quick step:

The World Champion will make his first outing of the year on home soil, at the four-day stage race.

Julian Alaphilippe is set to kick off his eighth pro season in three weeks’ time at the Tour de la Provence, which will take place between 11-14 February. Created five years ago, the race will once again have a demanding parcours, with the trip up Chalet-Reynard – just a few kilometers from the top of the Mont Ventoux – being the highlight of this sixth edition.

It will be Alaphilippe’s first appearance at La Provence since 2016, the year of the inaugural edition, and the rainbow jersey holder – who later in the month will make his Omloop Het Nieuwsblad debut – is looking forward to racing in front of his countrymen and showing the World Champion jersey he conquered in Italy.

Julian Alaphilippe

Julian Alaphilippe in yellow during the third stage of the 2020 Tour de France. Tim de Waele photo.

“Winning in Imola was the best moment of last year for me and getting to wear the rainbow jersey for twelve months gives me huge pride. I can’t wait to show it in as many races as possible this season. I’m still recovering after my injury at last November’s Ronde van Vlaanderen, but I have made some important steps since then and I am confident it will be better in the coming weeks.”

“I am excited about racing for the first time this season in France, it should be a nice experience. I took part in the Tour de la Provence a few years ago and I am glad to be back. I like the parcours, but I will go there without any specific goals. The most important thing will be to rebuild the shape, and hopefully Provence will help me do just that before my spring appointments, when I’ll be aiming for some strong results”, added Julian.

Baptiste Planckaert to miss Spring because of knee injury

Here’s the bad news from his Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux team:

As tradition goes, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux spends a good chunk of the month of January in Spain for a training camp, in order to prepare for the upcoming season. However, one of the Belgian riders, Baptiste Planckaert, did not join the team to train under the sun of Alicante because of a serious knee injury. Scans revealed that he developed a prepatellar friction syndrome in the right knee during his training build-up in November, which lead doctor Claes to perform a surgery in the hospital of Herentals on Friday, January 15. As a result, the resident of Mouscron is set to miss racing for the whole spring.

Baptiste Planckaert

Baptiste Planckaert winning the 2019 Rund Köln

Simon Verdonck (Team Doctor):
“Initially, we opted for a conservative approach in consultation with Doctor Steven Claes. The pain was persisting, which made surgery the sole option. Dr. Claes performed a prepatellar friction syndrome release with Baptiste last Friday. What that means for Baptiste is that in the first two weeks after surgery, the workload on the right knee must be limited to the absolute minimum. Resuming training on the bike will depend on the evolution of the pain level. Together with the team and the specialist Dr. Steven Claes, we will closely and carefully monitor the situation.”

Baptiste Planckaert:
“In November, I hurt my knee against my handlebars, but never I would have imagined that this would be the start of a serious injury. I felt a small problem persisting in the knee area, forcing me to rest. The movement of my knee caused inflammation, making cycling impossible.

“I was really looking forward to the upcoming season with my new team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. Because of this injury, I can forget about my initial pre-season plans. It is said that I will be sidelined for the entire spring. In the coming weeks, in view of my first bike ride, I will search some distraction and make everything possible to heal as fast and as safely possible. The duration of the rehab is uncertain, but I hope to be back in the saddle within three weeks to start my long build-up.”

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