Roommates of Wout van Aert and Remco Evenepoel reassure everyone: “Haven’t heard anyone complain yet”

Six of the eight World Cup selections were allowed to have their say today for the exclusively Belgian press. Only leaders Wout van Aert and Remco Evenepoel are ‘saved up’ for tomorrow. To the servants to give an update on how the leaders are doing. Nathan Van Hooydonck, teammate and roommate van Van Aert, already had only good news. “Wout feels fine”, reported the Kempenaar. “I haven’t heard him complain at all (laughs). For the rest, he is counting down just like everyone else. The hard training sessions are behind us.”

Yves Lampaert. — © BELGA

The same sounds with Yves Lampaert, roomie from Remco Evenepoel and also a teammate at Quick-Step – Alpha Vinyl. “Remco is also doing very well”, confirms Lampaert. “He put in a very good time trial in which his values ​​were more than excellent. He hopes to have further recovered by Sunday so that he can appear at the start in top condition. And he is already sleeping as he should. (grins) Remco is a good sleeper.”

In short, nothing but positive signals from the Belgian camp. “The atmosphere at the table is excellent”, it sounds from almost all mouths. “The biggest proof is that we sat together at the table for two hours yesterday. When there’s laughter, it’s usually thanks to Yves. But it mainly talks about anecdotes that we have experienced over the course of the season. Then stories are told across the team boundaries.”

“Cluttering together is really not difficult”, confirms Jasper Stuyven, with four World Cup selections the ‘ancien’ among the non-leaders. “Of course we know each other during the season and often run into each other during the race. Then there is always a conversation. I think that this season I have only raced with Quinten (Hermans, ed.) very little or not at all.”

middle fingers

Still, it’s not all roses and roses for our boys. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen so many middle fingers,” said Stuyven. “The people here are really not friendly to the riders. Several times a day we get to see the famous finger or they drive close to us. (Cynical) I’m glad I’m well insured.”

And that is the big difference with a year ago. “The experience is indeed completely different”, say Lampaert and Stuyven, two riders who were also there last year in Leuven. “When we did a training ride on Wednesday last year, we were constantly approached and applauded. That created a World Cup feeling very early on, also in the hotel where we stayed. Now there is not really a World Cup feeling. On the contrary, those middle fingers…”

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