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“I don’t want to be here”

“I don’t want to be here”

Remco Evenepoel makes his first Tour de France start on Saturday. This will also be a stressful three weeks for his parents, Patrick and Agnes. The former sat down with Homo for an extensive interview.

Evenepoel was against the merger.

The canceled merger between Soudal Quick-Step and Jumbo-Visma has also been discussed again. It seems that Evenepoel’s role there was completely different from what was assumed here and there. “Everyone accuses Remko of only thinking about himself. And the opposite is true: he thinks a lot about others. It remains rooted in his nature: he has everyone’s feelings. “Until the end of last year,” Patrick relates.

“The story of the merger with Jumbo-Visma. Remco thought about the employees and the riders: there would be layoffs at both Soudal Quick-Step and Jumbo-Visma, and he certainly could not live with that. Evenpoel is said to have made it clear to Jumbo-Visma that he did not want to cooperate.

“When we talked to Merijn Zeeman and Richard Plugge of Jumbo-Visma during the merger plans, he said, ‘I don’t want to be here.’ They didn’t know what to say, but they appreciated his honesty. When they presented their mathematical plan, Remko was impressed. But he couldn’t handle it.” With the humanitarian aspect, i.e. unemployment.”

Painful low point

As mentioned, a different image than what was assigned. The image in which Evenpoel could have pushed for a merger/departure. “It is very unfortunate that this statue has to be hung. No one from the team said: ‘Remco has nothing to do with this.’” Father Patrick reveals that this was difficult for him.

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It even reached a very painful moment. After the Lombardi Tour, Evenepoel rented a restaurant for the entire team. “The table for 35 people was fully decorated. There were six of us in the end, including a friend of mine.”

“Two riders have arrived: Cattaneo and Ilan van Wilder. I really got him. Last winter, Ajna had to talk to him and calm him down, because he was in big trouble, it seems understandable.