Evenepoel: “He is not at the level of Vingegaard and Pogacar”

While he passed a first high-level test in his quest for the Tour de France during Paris-Nice, Remco Evenepoel is far from having reassured cycling observers, starting with the former sports director of Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, on his ability to win the yellow jersey in July.

At the end of Paris-Nice, which he finished in second place overall behind Matteo Jorgensonwith a stage victory at stake, Remco Evenepoel was satisfied with his overall performance, for his first major meeting of his season, focused on his great objective of the Tour de France, declaring on the microphone of The team : « There are a lot of positives. The only mistake I made was on Friday’s stage where I was too hesitant to follow Jorgenson’s attack. We also had a bit of bad luck in the team time trial (Tuesday) but the weather is part of the race, you have to accept it. Otherwise I don’t see much negative, I finished 4th twice, 2nd yesterday (Saturday), I won the stage today (Sunday). It gives a lot of confidence for the next races in France and especially for the Tour. (…) Honestly, I think Matteo (Jorgenson) and I were the best in the race. Could I have beaten him hand to hand? We will never have the answer. What is certain is that if I had been with the three (Jorgenson, Skjelmose and McNulty in breakaway) on Friday, I would have won. This is the only mistake I made, it will stay in my mind for a little while but it is not what will take away my motivation for the future. I learned things in France, it was a good rehearsal, and for sure I will come back to try to win ».

“I think the Top 5 should be his goal”

However, the results appear less flattering in the eyes of cycling observers, who do not hesitate to cast doubt on the possibility of seeing Evenepoel seriously compete with the duo Vingegaard-Pogacar. On the occasion of the podcast of Lance Armstrong, The Movethe former sporting director of US Postal Johan Bruyneel thus affirmed in remarks reported by the site of The newspapaer : « We cannot put Remco on the same level as the big Tour favorites such as Jonas Vingegaard, Tadej Pogacar and even Primoz Roglic. The Tour will be a learning experience for him. He will race actively and aggressively, but I think top five should be his goal. Remco himself will undoubtedly want to win, but we can’t expect that from him ».

“Paris-Nice was undoubtedly the easiest stage race for Evenepoel to win”

In the process, on the occasion of the podcast of The last news, « Wuyts & Vlaeminck »the former Belgian runner Jan Bakelants, also cast doubt on the real possibilities of the Belgian champion on the roads of the Tour. He thus affirmed, in remarks relayed by The last hour : « I am convinced that he himself expected more. This year, everything revolves around the Tour. So either you don’t win Paris-Nice but hope to learn an important lesson from it, or you win. But he didn’t learn anything last week, and he didn’t win. Of the three important stage races he will compete in this year, this was the first. It was also undoubtedly the easiest race to win, especially considering the opponents “. An analysis confirmed by the host of the podcast, the Belgian journalist Michel Wuyts : « Despite everything, I remained hungry. Given the composition of the peloton and the relative weakness of Roglic, he missed a great opportunity to win Paris-Nice. Someone with the status of Remco Evenepoel should have won this Paris-Nice ».

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