Remco Evenepoel Extends His Lead: “I need a good ice cream tonight”

By Monica Buck

The Belgian delivered yet another amazing performance and gained time on his opponents on the race’s fourth uphill finish. The 22-year-old became the youngest rider since Miguel Indurain in 1985, to amass four stages in the leader’s jersey at La Vuelta and will head into the rest day with 1:12 over Enric Mas and 1:53 over Primož Roglič.

So, when asked what he thought of the Spanish Grand Tour, his answer was simple and delivered with a smile: “It’s going to be a really short answer so I am sorry for that,” he said. “I love it. So far, I love it.”

Evenepoel proved that he could climb with the best on stage nine and delivered what was probably the best performance of his career. The gradients rose up to 24%, yet the overall leader pressed on, seemingly unfazed, dropping his rivals one by one.

“First, I will enjoy my rest day,” he later continued. “I need a good ice cream tonight.”

“The team was outstanding again. I am impressed by these incredible riders on our squad, of how they selflessly work for me and how they give their best. They make me emotional and they deserve all the praise for their effort”, Remco said straight after the stage. “I felt that I had the legs to try something on the last climb, so I just did it. I am satisfied with the way things panned out and happy with having the red jersey at the start of next week. I didn’t expect to go into the time trial with this lead, but at the same time I know the Vuelta is far from being over, so we’ll remain motivated and focused.”

How do you think he’ll do in the time trial? Let us know in the comments.

General classification after stage nine

  1. Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) – 34:02:32
  2. Enric Mas (Movistar) + 1:12
  3. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) + 1:53
  4. Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers) + 2:33
  5. Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) + 2:36
  6. Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) + 3:08
  7. João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) + 4:32
  8. Miguel Ángel López (Astana Qazaqstan) + 5:03
  9. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) + 5:36
  10. Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) + 5:39