Vandegoor about Evenepoel: “For the first time he said that his team is constantly on its own” | Vuelta

Vandegoor about Evenepoel: “For the first time he said that his team is constantly on its own” | Vuelta
Vandegoor about Evenepoel: “For the first time he said that his team is constantly on its own” | Vuelta

Jumbo-Visma and Roglic had a plan, Christophe Vandegoor also saw: “Robert Gesink and Chris Harper were leading the pack in an attempt to isolate Evenepoel. Jumbo managed to throw Ilan Van Wilder and Louis Vervaecke overboard.”

“And then of course you expect an attack, because there are no longer that many uphill finishes. If Roglic had anything planned, he had to do it today. He was at 3 minutes this morning, hence the distant attack.”

When Roglic went, Evenepoel looked for his pace. “He said in his interview afterwards that he went a little over his paces in those first minutes of the start when responding. That saves 15 to 20 seconds, he said.”

This is a new situation for the young Belgian from Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl. “He is stimulated and hurt for the first time. Until now everything went perfectly”, Vandegoor outlines.

La Pandera was something special, Vandegoor realizes: “I’ve seen a lot of cols in my life, but this one was really terrible and comparable to Ventoux: very steep, bad asphalt.”

“Evenepoel loses about 50 seconds and so you may be at a momentum where you notice that Roglic is indeed getting better after his crash and retirement in the Tour and the mediocre preparation for the Vuelta.”

“Evenepoel checked, but got a first tap today. But he remained combative: “So far I have won more than lost on Roglic.” So far, so good. But this will come for a while. it goes with the teammates.”

“For the first time, Evenepoel also indicated – and he has never said that: “We are constantly on our own as a team. You now see after 2 weeks that the pressure, carrying the race and the control of such a big round falls completely on the shoulders of the Quick-Steppers.”

“That’s why the last third week is so important, especially with regard to fatigue and keeping control of this Vuelta.”

“Contador says after Sierra Nevada tomorrow we will know who will win Vuelta”

Roglic was asked today whether it was a bad moment for Evenepoel or a reborn Roglic. Or was it a combination of circumstances? Vandegoor: “I think the latter. You will not get any wiser from the Slovenian. Much more than “It was a good day and tomorrow is a new day” is not possible.”

Vandegoor heard someone else more interesting: “Multiple Tour winner Alberto Contador said categorically: “Tomorrow evening after the climb of the Sierra Nevada – 2,500 meters altitude and with the first 4 very steep kilometers at 15, 16 and 17 percent – we know who win the Vuelta a España.”

With that he says 2 things: “There are still attacks from Mas and Roglic, if they want to make something of this Vuelta and win it.”

“And his answer also indicates that the last week of this Vuelta is not so tough anymore or at least not so much opportunity to attack. That is a very interesting view from Contador, I am very curious.”

Back to Evenepoel, who got off the bike after the finish today with a smile: A sign that he thought it was still okay and still believes in his form? “Yes. And he actually does the same as in the Tour de Suisse. He lost 2 minutes, but kept fighting and didn’t give up. That’s part of the growth process.”

“You also have to try to see that in the head of a top athlete, who checks everything for 2 weeks and who had little setback except for the retirement of Serry and Alaphilippe. The Evenepoel that comes from that bike is very different than we have known. “

“In the past, this situation would have made him – I wouldn’t say – wildly kicking, being down or lashing out. You now see that he immediately processes it, he can post it, gives good, calm interviews. He also grows in that, That is a not unimportant fact in the battle for the overall victory in this Vuelta.”

“Obviously a top athlete would much rather have that big lead over the competition than lose 50 seconds today, but the way he handled it verbally invites me to say that the stress level is good. There is nothing wrong with that.”

Today was the second day after his slight fall in a descent on Thursday. “We all know that the muscle pain after a fall is the strongest on day 2. Yesterday Evenepoel put that into perspective, but today he gave that as the main explanation. He had stiff muscles and was not great.”

“It is already clear to the followers, experts and reporters that we cannot judge after today. But tomorrow on the Sierra Nevada we know what the value ratios will be between an upcoming Roglic and the current Evenepoel.”

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