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Remco Evenepoel’s not-so-secret time trial weapon helped him claim Algarve TT victory

Remco Evenepoel’s triumph at the Volta ao Algarve time trial on Saturday was due to plenty of different ingredients, but his 62-tooth chainring he used for the 22-kilometre race against the clock was certainly the one that sparked most post-stage debate.

Evenepoel explained later, half-jokingly, that he had ‘stolen’ the idea of using such a large single chainring from compatriot and time-trialling expert Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Dstny). 

However, what made Soudal-QuickStep actually put the idea into practice at the Volta ao Algarve, he added, was the rolling terrain that featured so heavily on the time trial in and around the coastal town of Albufeira.

The benefits were clear, he said afterwards, with his first TT win in his World Time Trial Champion’s jersey and taking over the lead of the Volta ao Algarve a double success on Saturday.  

“The gearing made me suffer on the little steep climb on the course [with a gradient of up to 12% in places] where I was definitely on the limit, but on the rest of the course it was a real advantage,” Evenepoel told reporters later. 

“We adjusted my position a bit this winter and the mechanics and the performance team had a look at the gearing as well.”

“We made that choice because of the course – it was a lot of false flat downhill.”

“But our good friend Victor Campenaerts started this, we ‘stole’ it from him and it went very well.”

Previously, Evenepoel said the biggest chainring he would use was a 60-tooth, but his now using a 12-speed gearing made the bigger ring possible. “With the single chainring, I’ve got a 34×11 tooth sprocket set.”

“That may all seem a bit tight, but the course was very fast and it lent itself to that kind of gearing. We had to have a perfect setup.”

If his current race program stays the same, Evenepoel will have three more time trials as potential ‘dress rehearsals’ before the Tour de France, at Paris-Nice on stage 3’s TTT, the opening short individual race against the clock in the Itzulia Basque Country and the Criterium du Dauphiné’s 34.4-kilometre solo TT on stage 4. Whether he will use a 62-tooth chainring again, though, remains to be seen.

SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
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