The world championships disputed last Sunday between Antwerp and Leuven have not yet revealed all their secrets. Three days after the second consecutive World Cup of Julien alaphilippe, the Belgian clan is still settling its accounts.
Guest on the show ‘Extra Time Koers’ on VRT this Wednesday, Remco Evenepoel appeared resigned and clearly disappointed by the strategy put in place by the coach Sven Vanthourenhout.
” I asked the staff if I could get my chance, the answer was “no”. Since then, I knew what I had to do, I had to jump all over the place “. And that’s what he did. Responding to the first attacks from other favorite nations, the 21-year-old sacrificed himself for the good of the Belgian team while he believed in his chances. In the game of “Yes or No” proposed on the set, he was also very clear in answering “Yes” to the question of whether he could have himself become world champion, while specifying that ‘it was difficult to say if he was stronger than Julian Alaphilippe that day.
Several explanations have been put forward to try to explain the failure of Belgium last Sunday. The first of these is of course the personal bankruptcy of a Wout Van Aert unable to follow Julien alaphilippe in the Smeysberg and then above all in the Wijners, 21 kilometers from the finish. The second is the lack of communication. Unlike the Italians or the French, the Belgian riders spoke very little during the race. A communication which, according to Evenepoel, was not clear either during the pre-race briefing: ” During the team meeting on Friday afternoon I was told that there were two chefs (note: Van Aert and Stuyven) and I was a simple servant “. An explanation that did not convince the young Belgian nugget.” What was expected of me was not very clear. I actually doubted all the following night “revealed Evenepoel.
Remco even tried, unsuccessfully, to get his chance in the manager’s plans. ” On Saturday after the reconnaissance, I went to tell Sven (Vanthourenhout) and Serge (Pauwels) that there were opportunities for me on the course, possibilities to escape and to be able to win in certain scenarios. I said it clearly, but we had to play Wout’s card. Then I quickly turned the button and did everything for the team. “
Remco Evenepoel will get back on the bike this Saturday on the Tour d’Emilie routes before returning to the Tour of Lombardy on Saturday October 9, for definitively ” turn the page “, a year after his terrible fall in the descent from Sormano. And he’s already announcing it,” If I am asked to put myself at Julian’s service next week in Lombardy, I will do so without a problem. But the (editor’s note: at the world championships), I said, we missed an opportunity to be world champion “.