Remco Evenepoel talks training in the rain, running for fun, and blowing out on burgers

Want to get to know what makes the world and Vuelta a España champion tick? Evenepoel provides some clues.

Photo: BELGA/AFP via Getty Images

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Remco Evenepoel gave some noteworthy nuggets of insight into his training, dietary, and festive habits Monday.

The Vuelta a España and world champion lived up to his celebrity status Monday. Evenepoel hosted an Instagram Q&A session for around a thousand followers while he trained on the rollers ahead of the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl training camp.

Here are some of the takeaways from a social media sit-down with the brightest new star in the cycling universe:

Giro d’Italia preparation

Evenepoel is looking to back up his Vuelta victory at the Giro next season.

Evenepoel confirmed recently he will ride the Giro d’Italia in 2023, where the time trial-heavy parcours puts the Belgian pocket-rocket well in the frame to back up his Vuelta a España victory of the summer. Evenepoel is already planning his push for Italian pink.

Also read: Evenepoel to the Giro: Good call or missed opportunity?

“I am really looking forward to the opening time trial and then to stage nine (ed. – another TT). We scouted the latter last week. There are beautiful time trials in this Giro that suit me well. I hope to do well. The last week contains a super-tough but beautiful mountain stages in the Dolomites. I look forward to it. It will be a special last week.”

Running for the love and training in the rain

Evenepoel brings both old and new-school approaches to his training. Grizzled Belgian veterans would purr with pride to hear their wunderkind slogs through outdoor training rides, whatever the weather. They’ll be less happy to learn he kept the running habits from his background in soccer.

Also read: Van Aert, Pidcock and the bike racers that run

“I walked a lot this winter. I like to do other things besides cycling. I used to run a lot as a footballer and I still love it. I used to often ride on the rollers, but last year that changed. Since then I also do my workouts outside when it’s cold or when it rains.”

Grand tours, not cyclocross

Evenepoel will be sticking to the smooth surfaces for now.

One question threw a cyclocross curveball at Evenepoel, the new superstar of his ‘cross-mad Belgian nation. Unfortunately for the fans, the 22-year-old isn’t likely to join celebrity compatriot Wout van Aert in the mud of winter any time soon.

“Have I thought about cyclocross? Yes, but it’s not a big goal and I don’t think there are any opportunities to develop as a rider. The big dream on which I am now focused is winning the three grand tours.”

Chicken, rice, burgers, and ice cream

What does Remco do for dinner? All the staples of a pro cyclist’s diet are in there. Starchy carbs and lean protein for “work,” the typical treats for “play.”

“What is my favorite meal? It depends. The night before a race I eat chicken, fish, pasta or rice. I try to vary it, because you don’t want to eat the same thing every time. If I have no races, a burger with fries and then an ice cream. For Christmas and New Year? Twice the same – a very long workout in the morning so that I can enjoy a big dinner in the evening.”

Soccer World Cup predictions

Just don’t mention the world cup … oh, you already did.

The soccer world cup is a sore point in Belgium after the “red devils” got knocked out in the first round and dissolved into intra-squad squabbles. Evenepoel knows who he’s backing now the Belgians blew out.

“Brazil is definitely one of my favorites for the overall win.”

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.