Remco Evenepoel Produces The Best Climbing Performance of 2022

Stavsro – Norway – cycling – Remco Evenepoel (Belgium / Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) pictured during 11th Tour of Norway (2.Pro) stage 3 from Gol to Stavsro/Gaustatoppen (175.8KM – Photo: Szymon Gruchalski/Cor Vos © 2022

While the Giro d’Italia is receiving the most attention, the Tour of Norway stage 3 did not disappoint at all, with Remco Evenepoel doing an unbelievable climbing performance on the queen stage that ended with the steep Gaustatoppen-Stavsro climb (10.5 km, 8.7%).

Tour of Norway stage 3 2022 profile by La Flamme Rouge

Nuclear Watts In Norway

The pace on the 10 kilometre-long climb was high already from the bottom, thanks to EF-Education Pro Cycling. James Shaw did a great job, thinning down the group and working for Esteban Chaves even after working during the middle of the stage chasing INEOS who had created a split in crosswinds. Jay Vine attacked with 8 kilometres to go and increased the tempo. Footage below courtesy of Velon.

Vine attacks with 8km to go

Very rarely one of the big favourites attacks so early, but the sections were around 10% steep, so the draft did not matter that much. Vine was caught and with 7 km to go Evenepoel started to drill as hard as possible, dropping Chaves then race leader Johannessen off his wheel.

Stavsro – Norway – cycling – Remco Evenepoel (Belgium / Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) – Ethan Hayter (GBR / Team INEOS Grenadiers) pictured during 11th Tour of Norway (2.Pro) stage 3 from Gol to Stavsro/Gaustatoppen (175.8KM – Photo: Szymon Gruchalski/Cor Vos © 2022

As Evenepoel said in the interview afterwards, the presence of a tailwind made his attakcs more difficult for the others to follow, and when he attacked with just under 5 kilometres remaining, no one could follow.

Evenepoel goes solo

Evenepoel soloed to the finish, doing an insane 6.50 w/kg for 30 minutes and 23 seconds, which is easily the best climbing performance of 2022.

Gaustatoppen-Stavsro climbing times and w/kg calculations by Naichaca

Jay Vine lost on the climb 26 seconds to Evenepoel, doing 6.34 w/kg for 30:49. Also an incredibly high climbing level. In the second part of the climb, when Evenepoel started pacing and went solo, he did 6.85 w/kg for 15 minutes.

Gaustatoppen-Stavsro (last 5.6 km) climbing times and w/kg calculations by Naichaca

Strava data from Jay Vine is a confirmation that this was an incredible performance. Vine did 435 watts for little over 30 minutes, which is 6.30 w/kg. We assume his weight is around 69 kilograms. All the w/kg estimations are done with 60 kg etalon weight because a heavier rider like Vine with the same w/kg will be faster on a climb than for example, 55 kg Juan Pedro Lopez.

Jay Vine Strava data from Tour of Norway stage 3

Best Remco Climbing Performance

Without a surprise, this is by far the best climbing performance by Remco Evenepoel. It is easy to forget that he is only 22-year-old, younger than last year’s Tour de l’Avenir winner Tobias Johannessen from whom he took the leader’s jersey today.

Lanterne Rouge x CyclingGraphs – best climbing performances of Remco Evenepoel

His reported weight at the start of the season in Algarve and Valenciana was 66.5 kg, in Basque Country it was around 64 kg, and it looks like after the Liege-Bastogne-Liege victory he has shed even more kilograms to improve his climbing ability. This would explain why finally he did not struggle on the steep gradients like he did early this season in Basque Country, Valenciana and Algarve.

Remco Evenepoel (Belgium / Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) – Luke Plapp (Australia / Team INEOS Grenadiers) pictured during 11th Tour of Norway (2.Pro) stage 3 from Gol to Stavsro/Gaustatoppen (175.8KM – Photo: Szymon Gruchalski/Cor Vos © 2022

The previous best pure w/kg performance by Evenepoel was surprisingly in the 2019 Tour of Turkey. Also on this day Evenepoel attacked early, but was caught by Conti, Kudus and Grossschartner and finished 4th. The stage before was not hard and it was a good w/kg test for at that time 19-year-old Remco.

Kartepe w/kg calculations and times by Naichaca

It is logical that during these 3 years he would progress, despite crashing hard in 2020 Il Lombardia and falling off the bridge, which could have also ended his career. He came back in Giro d’Italia 2021 but it was too early, which influenced his entire 2021 season. Finally, in 2022 he has gained more experience on climbs and probably found his perfect weight, which is the reason why we saw this nuclear performance in Norway.

Remco Evenepoel (Belgium / Team Deceuninck – Quick Step) pictured during the 55th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (2.UWT) stage-4 between Balikesir and Bursa (194.3KM) – photo Brian Hodes/Cor Vos © 2019 ***USA OUT***

Many riders broke their power personal bests for 20 and 30 minutes on Tour of Norway Stage 3. Probably those who lost close to two minutes such as Brenner and Sheffield.

Whilst the temperature was perfect for high performances, the stage before the climb was not easy. The riders needed to do 12.43 kj/kg/h for 4 hours and 13 seconds, which is a medium tempo and in the middle of the stage to be in the first echelon, Jay Vine needed to push 371 watts (5.38 w/kg) for over 30 minutes when INEOS attacked.

Slovenians, Remco is Coming

The next Grand Tour Evenepoel will race is planned to be Vuelta a Espana, where we might to see both Slovenians. If Evenepoel can bring Tour of Norway legs to Spain then it must be an exciting battle. Evenepoel is one of the most aero riders ever and the shallow 6-7% gradients on long climbs in the parcours of the Vuelta a Espana 2022 are perfect for him.

What must be a surprise to many, is that compared to the best Pogačar climbing performances, Evenepoel did a better in Tour of Norway stage 3, although it was not super difficult before the climb.

Lanterne Rouge x CyclingGraphs – best climbing performances of Tadej Pogačar compared to Evenepoel’s Tour of Norway 2022 performance
  1. Thank for an interesting article. How do you see the wind affecting his W/kg performance. I also notice that we are in the dark with regards to Remco performance on longer climbs. Any further info to shed some light on that?

  2. What do you mean by ‘etalon’ weight in this context?
    I was assuming you are using raw data from the riders devices on power (and therefore only estimating weight). Is this correct?

    1. Hi Robert, we have the power data that is published by several riders as well as privately confirming with various riders their race weight for the calculations. We don’t always do that, but for outlier performances like this one we do.

  3. How does that peak performance by Evenenpoel compare to the numbers that Pog and Rog can pull in the mountains?

  4. Good article. No doubt it’s a hard feat, but it definitely wasn’t a hard day leading up to the climb. That amount of kjs per hour is basically mid to low Z2 NP for WT ”climbers” like Remco. It’s useless trying to compare it to any performance from pog in the tour as well because this stage race is just so much easier than a grand tour. The strain on your body and mind aren’t even remotely comparable. Remco is still over rated.

    1. Well, as we know now he def isn’t overrated, Grand tour winner at age 22 and now world Champion, plus LBL and San Sebastian for this years palmares. I would say he has proven he is the wonderkid everybody says he is.

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