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All masks are finally turned off, and Remco Evenepoel fills in with an all-out victory at the Vuelta: "I can't play hide and seek anymore"

All masks are finally turned off, and Remco Evenepoel fills in with an all-out victory at the Vuelta: “I can’t play hide and seek anymore”

Remco Evenepoel, 22, realized last night in Alicante that after winning the trial by a landslide time, he could no longer indulge in the role of the underdog. “I can’t play hide and seek anymore. We just have to try and win the Vuelta. If that doesn’t work, so be it.”

Martin Delvaux in Alicante

Until Monday on the day of rest, Evenpool kept repeating the same mantra: “I’m focused on winning a stage, and I look at it day in and day out.” Reasonable, after last year’s scam at the Giro. Halfway through the Vuelta, he could no longer maintain such caution. ramko missile Yesterday, Primus Roglic announced his first test defeat on Spanish soil (he won eight days in a row). The difference in the end with the Olympic champion? 48 seconds. “Rymco is currently racing on a different level,” he had to admit. Evenepoel couldn’t believe it himself. “Wow, this is such a big surprise.”

His reward in ranking on the triple winner? Two minutes and 41 seconds. “This is huge after ten days,” our compatriot realized. “I was able to fulfill my dream of winning a stage. The pressure is over now, my tour of Spain has already worked. I don’t want and can’t play hide and seek anymore. Now we just have to try to win the Vuelta. I want to keep the red shirt until Madrid.”


Evenepoel showed a lot of confidence yesterday, but he always remained aware of the two tough weeks he still had. This week alone, three more challenging mountain stages await, including Sunday’s Queen stage in the Sierra Nevada. This long climb with an altitude of more than 2500m can be played in minutes. “Does he exist yet? Certainly not. In fact, I still see five tough days at the Vuelta. Danger lurks around every corner. Retaining the red jersey after the Sierra Nevada is the biggest goal now. If that works out, I’ll be one step away.”

In the last 10 days we have mainly seen the Evenpoel attack. This seems to be changing from today. “I’ll defend more, yeah. But then, as Jonas Weinggaard did in the last Tour de France. I really watched that Tour a lot and learned a lot from his racing tactics. Jonas picks moments. When he noticed the competition was having a bad moment, he took his chance. That’s how I want To do that. It’s always easier (quotes a hand gesture) To defend a three-minute bonus instead of being three minutes late and you have to attack.”


Evenbühl took another important step yesterday to become the first Belgian to win a Grand Prix Tour since Johann de Moynck won the Giro in 1978. In Spain the craze for Rymko is growing every day, and it won’t be long before the cycling frenzy is also rampant in our country. “Will he let you go crazy in Belgium? I’ll leave that to the people themselves. We’ll keep quiet here. Of course, I’m doing something for me to win the time trial here in the red jersey. Especially with my family along the way. You may not see it from the outside, but inside I have strong feelings.” You know I’m a sentimental man.”

There was no serious party at the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Hotel yesterday. “Boys tonight are allowed to drink more than a glass of red wine than me. I myself won’t. I got my ice cream a little before rest day, so my next happiness will be next Sunday.”

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