Remco Evevenpoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) arrived to the Benelux Tour on the back of 3 straight victories but his hopes of extending that run have been dented on the opening phase of the 7 days-prolonged race.
By now this thirty day period, the youthful Belgian has won a stage and the general at the Tour of Denmark before soling to commanding victories at Druivenkoers-Overijse and the Brussels Cycling Basic.
And issues appeared to be heading effectively on the opening working day of the Benelux Tour as he produced the entrance echelon when the industry was break up by crosswinds. But he was quickly thrown into disarray when he pulled to the roadside with 29km to go, his entrance wheel bearing a number of damaged spokes.
Crew cars experienced not yet been permitted by means of the echelons, so Evenepoel experienced to depend on Shimano neutral provider, but it was a sluggish course of action. To start with of all, the mechanic ran around with a rear wheel, right before obtaining to go again to fetch a front wheel. He then struggled to remove the wheel, though he did get the new 1 in a little more rapidly.
By the time Evenepoel obtained likely, the second echelon had by now zipped by, and he experienced to sprint to latch onto the third team on the highway. The dropped teams did join to type a larger sized chasing pack, which crossed the line 57 seconds down on the 30-rider direct group.
Evenepoel appeared discouraged at the roadside and then angry at the complete line, wherever he confronted Alpecin-Fenix rider Gianni Vermeersch. Cameras did not catch the incident that led to the damaged wheel but it appears he felt Vermeersch was to blame.
“I’m in the team and you appear as a result of diagonally,” Evenepoel stated to Vermeersch at the complete, according to Sporza.
Vermeersch then appeared to wheel absent.
“Don’t operate absent but confess your blunder,” Evenepoel stated. “Are you heading to chortle in my face now? Oh boy.”
Evenepoel was not the only a single who shed time on the opening working day, with the Ineos duo of Geraint Thomas and Gianni Moscon, plus Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) all ending in the chase group 57 seconds down. Vermeersch’s teammate Tim Merlier received the phase, as several pre-race favourites completed on the same time.
The harm was worse for Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), who skipped the entrance echelon and then crashed out of the 2nd one particular, crossing the line 2:25 down.
Présent dans la bonne bordure, Remco Evenepoel a perdu le #BeneluxTour à trigger d’une crevaison à l’arrêt avant. Il est repris par le 3e groupe ! #wielrennen #cyclisme pic.twitter.com/ePpQNyhxS3August 30, 2021