Remco Evenepoel on Winning La Vuelta: “I worked hard for this, I made a lot of sacrifices”

By Monica Buck

Remco Evenepoel is the first Belgian to win a Grand Tour since 1978 and the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team celebrates its first Grand Tour victory.

The 22-year-old beat Enric Mas (Movistar) by 2:02 and Jaun Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) who finished in third place sat a further three minutes back. Evenepoel gained the biggest advantage during the stunning win in the stage 10 time trial where he beat Primož Roglič by 48 seconds. The Slovenian later slowly crawled back closer and closer to Evenepoel but ultimately had to abandon due to a crash.

“I worked hard for this, I made a lot of sacrifices and I’m happy it all paid off here in Spain. I’m proud to see the support of those at home, I’m thankful for that, as I am for the fantastic support I have continuously received the entire time from my team and my family. I’m happy to be part of this superb team and overwhelmed with what I achieved,” said Evenepoel on the team’s website.

“Many people weren’t born the last time Belgium had a Grand Tour winner, so it’s quite a special moment. Remco surprised everyone, including us, and showed what a phenomenal rider he is,” Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl CEO Patrick Lefevere explained in Madrid. “I am happy he believed in us when he was 17 and we started our beautiful collaboration. It wasn’t easy for him, especially with that crash in Lombardia, which took away maybe a year of his career, but he proved his fantastic character and came back stronger from that. It’s a great moment for him, for our team and for Belgium, one that people will remember forever, and I’m proud of Remco and this incredible team that gave everything and did a great race!”

Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) finished second on the last stage and confirmed the win of the Škoda Green Jersey.

Stage 21 results

  1. Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE Team Emirates) – 2:26:36
  2. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo)
  3. Pascal Ackermann (UAE team Emirates)
  4. Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma)
  5. Danny van Poppel (BORA-Hansgrohe)

Final general classification

  1. Remco Evenpoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) – 80:26:59
  2. Enric Mas (Movistar) + 2:02
  3. Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) + 4:57
  4. Miguel Ángel López (Astana Qazaqstan) + 5:56
  5. João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) + 7:24
  6. Thymen Arensman (DSM) + 7:45
  7. Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers) 7:57
  8. Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) + 10:30
  9. Rigoberto Urán (EF Education EasyPost) + 11:04
  10. Jai Hindley (BORA-Hansgrohe) + 12:01

Final Škoda Green Jersey classification

  1. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) – 409 pts
  2. Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) – 186 pts
  3. Enric Mas (Movistar) – 138 pts
  4. Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) – 133 pts
  5. Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) – 133 pts