At the foot of the Sierra Nevada, Jumbo-Visma continued very hard, but Remco Evenepoel remained calm and then took over.
“Mainly to avoid extra sniffles,” he explained in front of our camera after the finish. “Jumbo-Visma’s pace was hard, maybe too fast for Primoz Roglic.”
“He went to 5th position for a while. I thought he was having a hard time, but it could also have been ‘pretending’. After that we handled it well.”
Remco Evenepoel lost time this weekend. How does he estimate that? “Yesterday my legs were not there, I had stiff muscles after the fall and it was also very steep.”
“I rode with tape on the inside of my leg. My groin was very stiff after that fall. But in the evening during the massage we already felt that the stiffness disappeared.”
“This morning I got up without pain, Saturday my first steps were still painful.”
“As a result, I didn’t have enough power on the steep parts. Put today’s ride yesterday and it would have been a bigger problem. Today I had a fresher feeling and the after-effects are gradually going away.”
The high mountains in this Vuelta are more or less behind us, but Remco Evenepoel is by no means leaning back.
“That the competition needs a genius plan? We will have to keep genius peace with the team.”
“The arrivals aren’t as tough as they used to be, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous.”
“I still see 3 important stages and I expect another Movistar number, especially next Saturday. But if I have 1’30 there, I’m already very far.”
All in all, this is a mental victory, isn’t it? “It’s just a shame about yesterday, otherwise it might have looked even better. But you have to deal with that.”
“Today there are only positive signs and I get into bed with a more relaxed feeling.”
“I am very pleased that I am holding up so well at my first finish at 2,500 meters. Enric Mas and Miguel Angel Lopez always fly at such a finish, keeping an eye on Primoz Roglic has been successful.”
“I had to go into the red a few times, but all in all it was a perfect day.” And it ends with? “A burger and an ice cream.”