Velo ticker: Netflix drops Tour de France series trailer, Remco Evenepoel returns at Tour de Suisse

Anticipation building for June 8 debut of eight-part documentary series, Evenepoel puts worlds defense at center of ambitions after COVID comeback.

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Remco Evenepoel returns for Tour de Suisse, worlds

There’s no Tour de France in his immediate future, but Remco Evenepoel will return to racing this month at the Tour de Suisse.

After pulling out of the Giro d’Italia while in the pink jersey due to COVID-19, the reigning world champion is recovered enough to resume competition. Soudal Quick-Step officials already ruled out starts at the Tour de France next month.

“It has been quite the challenge to see a pathway through the rest of my season. We know that my main goal of this year was the Giro d’Italia and what happened was really unfortunate, so it was important to plan the right path with the team management,” Evenepoel said Thursday. “I think to begin in Suisse is the perfect start, and it allows me to revisit a race where I have good memories from my time trial win last year.”

Evenepoel will also race in the Belgian national championships in late June and then head to an altitude camp to prepare for the world championships in Scotland in August.

Team boss Patrick Lefevere also said it’s unlikely Evenepoel will defend his Vuelta a España crown later this season.

‘Tour de France: Unchained’ to debut June 8 on Netflix

Netflix dropped the official trailer for its highly anticipated eight-part documentary series Tour de France: Unchained.

The series will debut Thursday, June 8, and should build momentum going into the July 1 start in Bilbao of the 2023 Tour.

The first glimpse looks enthralling, with a fast-editing mix of behind-the-scenes drama, interviews, and on-the-road action.

One clip features Neilson Powless of EF Education-EasyPost, who says, “I have to leave my home, my family, winning a stage would make all the sacrifices worth it.” The American came agonizingly close last year to winning a stage and capturing the yellow jersey.

The series is produced by the same production company behind the wildly popular series on Formula 1 called Drive to Survive. That series helped raise the profile of the sometimes exotic and distant world of high-speed auto racing.

Many are hoping for a similar bounce for cycling.

Eight teams participated in the series, and gave crews rare inside-the-bus access to all the drama before, during, and after each stage during the 2022 Tour.

Teams, race organizers, and sponsors are hoping Netflix, with its global reach, will help boost the appeal of the Tour and elite road racing to a new level. Netflix officials already revealed a second season is in the works.

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