Belgian cycling stars kick off season on Iberian peninsula this weekend

Two of Belgium's most successful cyclists kick off their season on the Iberian Peninsula this weekend. Remco Evenepoel competes in the second edition of the Figueira Champions Classic on Saturday, while Wout van Aert starts his road season at the Spanish Clasica de Almeria on Sunday.

"We are very motivated to show ourselves," said Soudal-Quick-Step sport director Iljo Keisse. "Remco is our leader, of course. It will be his first race of the season. As always, he is looking forward to it."

Van Aert, meanwhile, has several races on his agenda this weekend. After the Clasica de Almeria on Sunday, he will race the Clasica Jaen a day later. "It's a race I'm really looking forward to because of the gravel sections," said Van Aert ahead of the race. "I definitely want to make it to the final."

Different objectives

Next Wednesday, Van Aert will join Evenepoel at the start of the five-day Tour of the Algarve, an early tune-up for this year's grand tours. The two will start with very different goals.

Van Aert has said he is aiming for stage wins rather than a good General Classification ​ position. He will mainly be preparing for the various one-day races in Flanders and beyond this spring.

Evenepoel, on the other hand, will skip most of those races. The world time trial champion will race his first Tour de France in July, where he will be aiming for the yellow jersey. He will then remain in France for the Olympic Games in Paris, which begin a few days later.


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