Evenepoel left the Tour of Italy at the end of the ninth stage after registering a positive corona test. The world champion was riding in the pink leader’s jersey at the time, but felt too ill to continue the race. Meanwhile, Evenepoel has already tested negative again and has resumed the first cautious training sessions.
And so the question begs where Evenpoel will begin his preparation for the remainder of his season’s goals. The World Time Trial Championship is one of those main goals and in that sense a return to the Tour of Switzerland with two separate time trials would not be unreasonable. The organization just announced the list of participants through a press moment and so far there was no mention of EvenPoel. Please note that this is a provisional list of participants and is subject to change. It is possible that Soudal–Quick-Step still has to work out a deal with the organisation, it is also possible that riders and staff still want to wait and see whether Evenpole will be competitive enough by then.
The Belgian Tour of Balois from June 14 to June 18 was also an option, but the organization has received indications from there that Evenpoel will not take part in his race, even though the final stage passes through Sheppdal twice and finishes in Brussels. But with Mathieu van der Poel, Thibau Nis, Jasper Stuyven, Fabio Jacobsen, Jasper Philipsen, Caleb Evans and Mark Cavendish already in the starting lineup, they can be content with the quality they already have.
Well Van Aert, No Kopecky
One who is definitely going to visit Switzerland is Wot van Aert. He will have to compete in rare sprinter stages against Biniam Girme, Jordi Mees and Arnaud Démare, among others. Greg Van Avermaet and Peter Sagan are also riding in their final racing year in Switzerland, with Tom Pidcock expected to claim the final classification. From the Belgian angle, we also saw the names of Tim Wellens, Quinton Harmons, Dylan Tunes and Arnaud de Ly. But as said, the list of participants is provisional.
The women will start in the final weekend and then ride two more stages. SD Works has included Marlene Reiser and Demi Völlering in the provisional list of participants, but Lotte Kopecky is out of the question. The Tour of Switzerland for women is part of the World Tour for the first time this year.