Our rider showed a lot of character on a tough day of racing.
Featuring four classified climbs, including the Col d’Aubisque and Col du Tourmalet, and over 4000 vertical meters, Friday’s stage was seen by many as being the most difficult of the whole race, and it lived up to the expectations, opening more gaps at the front of the general classification between those vying for a top result.
Unfortunately, it also ended up being a tough day for Remco Evenepoel. The stage three winner, leader of the race for three consecutive days in the first week, got dropped four kilometers from the top of the Aubisque. The Belgian Champion was immediately surrounded by his teammates Mattia Cattaneo, Jan Hirt, James Knox and Louis Vervaeke, who at first tried to limit the losses and then continued to support him all the way to the finish atop Tourmalet.
“It was just one of those days where my tank was empty. We gave it everything and I have no regrets. I want to thank my teammates who stayed with me the whole day and left everything out there for me. We will discuss and look at where we go from here for the rest of La Vuelta”, said Remco Evenepoel.
“Not much can be said about this stage. It was just a bad day for Remco – he was not sick or injured. It’s unfortunate and it can happen. Cycling is not racing on a simulator and we are all human beings. We will sit down as a team tonight, assess what happened and look at our goals for the rest of the race”, added Soudal Quick-Step sports director Klaas Lodewyck.
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