Tim Merlier was not present in the Tour this year and he wants to see things differently next season. “I can help Remco Evenepoel get a good ranking,” says Merlier in an interview with the French-language public broadcaster RTBF.
Two years ago, Tim Merlier took part in the Tour de France for the first time. He immediately won a stage.
There was no sequel yet. Next year?
At Soudal – Quick Step they build a team around Remco Evenepoel. Merlier fervently hopes for a place.
“I will talk to Patrick Lefevere and perhaps also Remco about that,” Merlier told RTBF. “I want to explain to them that we can fight for the classification and for sprint victories.”
We can protect Remco in the gravel ride.
Merlier comes up with an additional argument for taking him along. “There is a difficult gravel stage on the menu. Bert Van Lerberghe and I can take Remco in tow and protect his classification,” says the vice-European gravel champion.
“Okay, we also have other riders who can achieve that, but our leader does not only need climbers. I am convinced that Bert and I can help Remco win the Tour.”
(read more below the video)
“Not asleep because of rumors”
In recent weeks, Tim Merlier did not know where his future lay. The merger rumors caused unrest within the team.
In the Münsterland Giro, where the team did not finish, Merlier had a hard time.
“It was a stressful period,” he tells RTBF. “Everyone came with different and contradictory stories. We couldn’t even sleep the night before the match in Germany.”
“I joined the attack, but quickly realized that I was not mentally ready to fight for the win. The whole situation weighed on us. It was perhaps the worst day of my career.”
It was perhaps the worst day of my career.
8 km walk in less than 30 minutes
Tomorrow will be a better day for Tim Merlier. On Armistice Day he runs the Remembrance Run in Ploegsteert, where his in-laws’ roots lie.
Merlier will be there again at the start of the 8 km. Last year he ran it in 30 minutes and 4 seconds (for the experts: 3 minutes and 45 seconds per kilometer).
“I will run it with my brother Braam and with my lead-out Bert Van Lerberghe. This time I hope to finish under half an hour,” concludes Merlier.