Remco Evenepoel says he’s still not ready to return to racing after his awful crash last season.
Despite making great progress early in his recovery, the 20-year-old have revealed a slight setback in his return to racing, but still hopes to race his first Grand Tour this season.
In an interview with Belgian cycling website Wielerflits, Evenepoel said: “There were minor problems in my recovery.
“Near where the fractures were, I’m still in pain. Sitting in the saddle for a long time hurts. It takes a bit longer before I can get back on the bike 100 per cent.”
Evenepoel was forced to end his season after he hit a low wall on a bridge and fell into a ravine during Lombardia.
His injuries included a pelvis fracture and a contusion to his right lung, as he was kept in hospital overnight for observation.
Evenepoel said he has now been back off the bike for a few weeks, instead running and swimming to keep up his fitness.
He added: “At the moment I am not training with my team-mates yet. I am working on an individual programme. But I am not panicking. I am not really behind schedule, because from the outset it was said I would not be one hundred per cent again until February.”
Due to his injuries, Evenepoel was forced to miss his highly-anticipated Grand Tour debut at the 2020 Giro d’Italia, but he still plans to race over three weeks in 2021 despite the setback.
Evenepoel said he wants to race the Giro in May, but said the Tour de France is not an option.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step are currently holding their winter training camp, with star sprinter Mark Cavendish meeting up with his team-mates as he has signed with Belgian WorldTour squad for the new season.