Tour de France general director Christian Prudhomme was bullish about Remco Evenepoel’s debut in the race in 2024, speaking at the presentation of the 2025 Tour’s Grand Départ on Thursday.
Prudhomme expected Evenepoel to spice up the race that has been dominated by Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar over the past four years.
“Obviously, Vingegaard and Pogačar will be the big favourites. But Evenepoel does have that X-factor, that unexpected and brilliant thing. He can suddenly turn things upside down,” Prudhomme said, according to Sporza.
Although Evenepoel collapsed in his defence of his Vuelta a España title this season, Prudhomme said, “It struck me how he was able to bounce back after a setback. I thought he would give up, but we saw the opposite. He made a spectacle of it with his attacks.”
After naming the favourites, Prudhomme qualified that he felt Evenepoel could be a contender for the overall victory when the race finishes in Nice one week before the Olympics begin in Paris.
“He can win. But what is certain is that he will leave his mark on the race and, therefore, also on the overall victory,” he said.
The Belgian media were curious as to why the 2025 Tour would start just across their border but not enter the country, but Prudhomme defended the decision.
“This is a choice for France and not against Belgium,” Prudhomme said. “We are never against Belgium. After all, how can you love the bicycle and not love Belgium?
“After consultation with various authorities, we have decided to have the start only through Northern France and therefore 100% through France.”
He also pointed to the two time trials totalling 59km in the 2024 Tour de France route as something fitting for the time trial World Champion Evenepoel.
“The 2024 Tour, where Evenepoel will be at the start, ends with a time trial on July 21. And then you think we don’t like the Belgians?”