Wee will rock you: Remco Evenepoel peed ’10 to 15 times’ on way to win

A Tour of Norway stage win with a strange statistic.

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In a few short years, Remco Evenepoel has rocketed from the junior ranks to superstardom. Along the way he’s picked up a Monument, a Pizza Hut endorsement, and the oft-rotated label of ‘the next Eddy Merckx’. His young career is marked with 27 victories – some big, some small – with the most recent of them coming just yesterday. 

In the scheme of Evenepoel’s golden palmares, stage 1 of the Tour of Norway is not prestigious. Besides, there’s a Grand Tour on, so perhaps you didn’t even realise it happened. That’s fair enough. I wasn’t planning on writing about it myself.

But there is something about this particular win that – on a purely statistical level – is so remarkable that I think it’s worth a little of our time. 

Between Bergen and Voss – a circuitous 173.6 km, which took just under 4.5 hours –  Evenepoel claims to have “stopped to urinate 10 to 15 times along the way”. 

That is not editorialising. That is a quote from the man himself, unforgivably buried in the penultimate paragraph of a studious Het Laatste Nieuws report detailing the assorted beats of the day’s racing – a breakaway group, the recipient of the sprint and KOM points, the way the move was closed down. 

Ignore those humdrum details and hone in on this fact: throughout this all, at an average of every 26 minutes – although I cannot confirm whether these nature stops were evenly spaced or in a furious, foaming flurry –  Evenepoel was pulling to the verge and anointing the roadsides of Norway.

For reasons I will never understand, Het Laatste Nieuws did not press him on the details, but Evenepoel felt comfortable enough to elaborate that The Final Wee of the Day came at just 12 kilometres to go. “My stop was not a material failure. I really just had to pee really urgently and couldn’t wait anymore,” Evenepoel said, matter-of-factly. “No, I didn’t panic, the roads were wide to return and there was a headwind, so I knew I would be able to make it back.”

Now, it’s well established that Evenepoel is a prodigious talent on the bike, but it really puts his excellence in context when he can still win while pissing up an absolute storm. 

Gratulerer, Remco. Was it closer to 10 or closer to 15?”

Evenepoel’s candid admission unspools many questions, and I have no easy answers. I do not know whether Evenepoel pounded 15 espressos before the race start. I do not know whether he slammed a full six pack of sponsor-correct alcohol-free lager. I do not relate to Evenepoel’s total lack of shame or self doubt when revealing that he, a beloved 22-year-old cycling idol, cannot get through an episode of the Simpsons without feeling a twinge. All of these things I do not understand.

But I do know that Remco Evenepoel unleashed a minimum – a minimum – of 10 hasty wees on his way to winning a bike race yesterday. And now you know it, too.

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